The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority won't meet Gov. Ricardo Rossello's goal of restoring 95 percent of power to residents by Dec. 15, an official with the governor's office told the Washington Examiner on Friday.
Instead, a spokesman for Rossello said they now expect the U.S. territory's full power grid to be restored in February, two months later than the governor predicted after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the Caribbean island.
Currently, 66 percent of the island's estimated 3.4 million residents have electricity, according to a government-run website detailing utility coverage. That also fell short of government expectations — Rossello in October said he expected 80 percent of the island's power to be restored by Dec. 1 and 95 percent by Dec. 15.
PREPA acting Director Justo Gonzalez cited "natural" and hurricane damage to the power grid that was initially unidentified as the reason for the delay of power generation.
Others have said full power and other utilities will not be completely restored until March.
"The governor set some challenging goals ... to give importance and priority to the energization of Puerto Rico. They will be reached, but I do not want to give a date. What I do want to mention is that the goal is to completely energize Puerto Rico," Gonzalez added.
Power has slowly come back on throughout the island since the September storm destroyed most of the U.S. territory.
Category 5 Hurricane Irma swept the island in early September, leaving 1.1 million customers without power. Category 5 Hurricane Maria then made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, causing even more damage.
Rossello announced in November the storms left behind $94 billion in damages to the 100-mile wide island.
Editor's Note / Correction: An earlier version of this story only mentioned the damage in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Irma without discussing about Hurricane Maria. The Washington Examiner regrets the error.