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A Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority worker working on power lines. Photo: Jose Jiminez Triado/Getty Images

Puerto Rico is in danger of being without power once again when it is inevitably hit by another hurricane — be it this season or years from now, reports the Associated Press.

Why it matters: The United States spent $3.8 billion to get Puerto Rico's power system running again following damage caused by Hurricane Maria, but the system is in such bad shape that it's at risk of suffering more damage if another hurricane were to strike the island before it can be properly fixed.

“The grid is there, but the grid isn’t there. It’s teetering,”
— Hector Pesquera, Puerto Rico's commissioner of public safety.

Maria was the most intense such storm to hit the island in at least 80 years, but a weaker storm could still hobble the grid.

Many of the repairs made to the grid have replaced years of neglect to Puerto Rico's power grid, but funding hasn't been able to reach every spot across the island.

  • In the western highlands of the island, power cables have been spliced and woven together through trees.
  • In Cain Alto and another location, trees are being used as makeshift power poles because of a lack of proper equipment.

By the numbers: It is inevitable that a massive storm will hit the country again — though the island may be spared this season.

  • With hurricane season starting on June 1, forecasters say there's a 75% likelihood that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season produces between five and nine hurricanes.
  • There's a 70% chance that as many as four of those storms could be "major hurricanes" of category 3, 4 or 5.
  • Winds in such storms would reach 111 miles per hour or higher.
  • Officials warn that a storm that is weaker than a category 4 could cause a blackout if one were to hit the island this year.
  • 11,820 homes and businesses are still without power on the island.

What they're saying: Puerto Rico is considering selling its infrastructure system to a private company or companies and have it finance its repairs in time for the next storm, the report says. A sale could happen as early as this week.

The bottom line: If another storm hits Puerto Rico this year, thousands of people will be without power and it would cost billions to get the power grid back to the state its currently in. The federal government would continue to fund repairs even if the system is sold.

Go deeper

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Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.