Could Puerto Rico's power restoration be delayed?

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Almost three quarters of Puerto Rico is without electricity, more than a month after Hurricane Maria smashed into the island.

LDWW is handling Whitefish Energy, the tiny Montana company that had its $300M contract to rebuild Puerto Rico's power lines cancelled October 29 by the island's governor Ricardo Rossello.

PREPA has maintained that the contracting process was done according to emergency restoration regulations while also acknowledging that the process was rushed because of the emergency circumstances.

A Whitefish spokesperson says it's "very disappointed" that the contract has been cancelled.

Despite Donald Trump's claims that the administration's recovery effort in Puerto Rico merits a "10 out of 10", the USA territory remains in the throes of a major humanitarian crisis.

Ramos said the company already has paid Whitefish $10.9 million to bring its workers and heavy equipment to Puerto Rico and has a $9.8 million payment pending for work done so far.

Rossello notes that "restoring electricity to our citizens has become a daunting task, mainly because of the lack of liquidity of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the need for additional assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers". Some expressed concern over Whitefish's ties to Interior Secretary and ex-Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, whose son worked for Whitefish during the summer. Whitefish responded by tweeting a threat to Cruz to pull their workers out of her city.

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FEMA said it has not approved any reimbursement requests from the power company for money to cover repairs to the island's electrical system.

Zinke denied any involvement in the business deal.

A Whitefish Energy pickup truck in Manati, Puerto Rico. PREPA also said that it didn't ask for mutual aid because it expected that reconstruction help the federal government wouldn't cost it anything.But now utility crews are en route from Florida and NY, which means PREPA may have to come up with money to pay for relief sooner than expected.

Whitefish has already been paid over $20 million for work they have already completed, and will finish whatever projects they are now working on before leaving Puerto Rico.

A clause in Whitefish's contract stated that "pay rates and other terms of the agreement could not be audited or reviewed by FEMA, the commonwealth, the comptroller general or PREPA".

"We only wish the best for the great people of Puerto Rico", the firm continued it its statement. Chiames, the Whitefish spokesman, has said that Colonnetta's political donations were "irrelevant" and that the company would cooperate with any federal authorities.

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