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Puerto Rico had never needed a larger emergency stash.

The offices are now full of mice.” A PREPA plant in the western city of Arecibo, near where Maria’s eye left the island, experienced so much flooding that employees had to climb to the chimney for safety, he said.The flooding was happening just about a dozen of miles from the governor’s mansion.Out rushed the governor with rescue crews, including power line workers with bucket trucks.Ricardo Ramos, chief executive of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, PREPA, watched from the public utility’s headquarters in Miramar as Maria’s onslaught knocked out the island’s entire power grid.Then, the storm took out the utility’s computer servers, leaving the man in charge of keeping on the lights entirely in the dark.The only reason Hurricane Irma two weeks earlier hadn’t depleted the stores, he added, was because that storm skirted Puerto Rico and mostly hurt the island’s northern coast — meaning southern municipalities could aid their neighbors without tapping all the federal provisions.

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