The Entire Island

Repair crews worked through the night trying to restore electricity to Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million people early Thursday after a fire at a power plant blacked out the entire U.S. territory.

Officials said they hoped to restore service by morning….

It turns out that they didn’t make by the morning, and the outage extended into a second day—lengthened not just by the severity of the problem, not unique in itself to Puerto Rico, but also by Puerto Rico’s lack of money with which to fund repairs or even parts and equipment to replace the damaged/failed parts and equipment.

I have to wonder about similar vulnerabilities, similar single points of failure, extant on our separated States and other separated territories and within CONUS.  I have to wonder about these vulnerabilities not only in our power distribution grids, but in our communications grids, and cascading from those, in our financial networks and our government effectivity networks.

As Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said,

The system is not designed to withstand a failure of this magnitude.

Neither are any of our systems.  Nor are they designed to any large degree to minimize, if not eliminate, single points of failure.

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