Puerto Rico needs intensive hurricane recovery plan
- Author: Rogelio Becker Sep 29, 2017,
Sep 29, 2017, 0:22
Hurricane Maria left massive destruction across Puerto Rico and the island's governor has warned of a humanitarian crisis. Politicians who have spent time on the ground in Puerto Rico since the storm, like Florida Sen.
The Trump administration has made previous efforts to help.
At a rally Friday, Trump mused, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these National Football League owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he's fired". That order included Puerto Rico, but expired last week shortly after Maria struck. Puerto Rico is 1,000 miles from Miami, while countries like the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are closer. "It's very frustrating because there's no coordination", Rivera said, who is now reporting on-the-ground in Puerto Rico. She said President Trump should let emergency response workers on the island "cut through the red tape", and do more. "That's not a question of 'Gee, let's dry up the water". That is a really tough situation. The person that called me has three kids, no water, and no one has given anything to them.
The Jones Act requires that goods shipped between USA ports be carried by vessels built in the US, majority-owned by American firms and crewed by US citizens.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he petitioned the White House on Wednesday night to temporarily lift the ban.
"One of the considerations right now is the priority of getting fuel, diesel, gasoline, all across the island". They have supplied generators to hospitals and food and water to hard-hit communities. After the devastating quake in Haiti in January 2010, the USA military sent ships and the skies seemed to be filled with heavy-lift helicopters and planes carrying emergency relief, though the scale of that disaster was far worse.
"We need to get our s-- together because people are dying", Cruz said.
The Department of Homeland Security, under pressure from lawmakers like Velazquez and Arizona Sen. On Wednesday, though, Trump said the shipping industry was against a Jones Act waiver.
Rather, the DHS is presently reviewing a waiver request submitted by eight members of Congress, led by Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y.
Rosselló and other Puerto Rican officials have since applauded the response of the Trump administration. "They said it was horrifying what they went through".
Getting the power back on is a critical need for an island with tropical heat.
Under pressure to do more for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump on Thursday waived federal restrictions on foreign ships' transportation of cargo to the island.
San Juan: About 97 percent of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million residents were still without electricity, one week after Hurricane Maria slammed into the USA territory, Governor Ricardo Rossello said.
FEMA also says the main reason more money hasn't been earmarked for recovery yet because it's hard to tell who needs what at the moment.
"It definitely does create some logistical challenges", Montano says.