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Frustrated residents protest power outage by blocking traffic

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Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Police showed up at the scene but there are no reports of arrests. Photo: Courtesy

Four days after tropical storm Grace battered the Yucatán Peninsula, thousands of residents are still without electricity. 

Yesterday, fed-up residents closed access to 13 of Mérida’s streets in an effort to gain the attention of the authorities and the CFE. 

In the Miraflores neighborhood, a CFE truck was intercepted and not allow to continue on its way without having reestablished electricity to the area. 

“We are not out to hurt or intimidate anyone, but we have been without electricity for four days and we are really starting to get desperate. We have reported the situation to the CFE several times already, but they just tell us to keep waiting,” said a Miraflores resident who lives on Calle 24.

For their part, CFE workers say that they understand people’s frustration, but that the damage done by the storm was simply too great to fix in a few hours.

Similar protests have been reported in other communities including Uman and Kanasín. 

“Nobody likes to be without power, but please know that we are doing our best. We are working 18-hour shifts and will continue to do so until service is back up for everyone,” said a CFE spokesperson.

Earlier: Big business in Mexico moves toward ditching dirty CFE power 

The utility company has urged that households without power on streets where connections have been reestablished, make sure that the problem is not with their own installations before reporting the problem.

Despite the heavy winds that battered Mérida, weary residents noted that the damage could have been much worse, as the storm system brought with it relatively little rain. 

But the rain was enough to flood, once again, Mérida’s now-infamous Paso Deprimido underpass. This most recent bout of flooding is likely to delay once more the project’s completion date which was originally slated for the last day of June. 

Though hurricane Grace was downgraded to a tropical storm before hitting Mérida, once it left the Peninsula the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico reinvigorated it back to hurricane status as it tore its way towards Veracruz. 

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