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Restoring Power To Puerto Rico's Last 2 Percent

Editor's note: The 360-degree video above has 360 audio and is best experienced with headphones. Scroll around for an immersive experience.

In the mountainous regions of Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of residents are still waiting for the lights to come back on. Why is power restoration for the last 2 percent of people taking so long?

One reason is the rugged terrain, which makes it difficult to get large poles and heavy machinery to the island's most remote communities. Often, helicopters are the only way. Power crews are at work daily, but returns are diminishing. It takes more and more effort to energize fewer and fewer homes.

When the lights come back on after so long, it can feel like a rebirth. Neighborhoods erupt in celebration and shouts of joy echo across valleys.

Federal and local officials say everyone on the island will have their power back before the start of hurricane season on June 1. Many people doubt it'll happen. With less than a month to go, it's a waiting game.

Watch the video here.

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Adrian Florido
Adrian Florido is a national correspondent for NPR covering race and identity in America.
Nick Michael
Nick Michael is a supervising editor for the Visuals team, where he leads the design and delivery of complex editorial projects. Those projects include NPR-in-a-Minute, which in the span of 18 months piloted over a dozen shortform video series and garnered 1 billion views across Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. He also serves as editorial lead for NPR's foray publishing podcasts to YouTube.
Andy Huether