I’ll start off with the most credible source of this information; the Governor of Puerto Rico who served as a Hillary delegate at one point and is a Democrat. The Governor has been fighting back against this myth that Puerto Rico has been abandoned by the Federal government and praising Trump’s support for the territory. pjmedia.com/trending/2017/09/25/puerto-ricos-governor-dismantles-media-attacks-trumps-response-hurricane-irma/
Trump was on Twitter as recently as yesterday trying to bring more attention to the fact that Puerto Rico, despite being a US territory, is way behind US states in forms of infrastructure and finances. They simply have too much debt to deal with to financially handle a disaster of this scale on their own. (For those that didn’t know, this is one of the chief reasons they are not a State.)
Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
FEMA has been operating on a 24 hour schedule in Puerto Rico and the USVI since at least 23 September. They have successfully reopened five airports in Puerto Rico and two airports in the USVI airports deliver supplies and aid. FEMA is being supported by the Defense Logistics Agency, USNORTHCOM, US Navy, and USCG. Two USCG cutters are conducting port assessments of St. John and St. Thomas. The port of San Juan was reopened by 23 September. FEMA has been delivering approximately 100,000 meals per day to St. Croix, the SS Wright delivered 1,100,000 meals and 1,000,000L of water by 5am 23 September, Two more shipping barges delivered another 1,200,000L of water, 31 generators, and 6,000 cots to St. Thomas. www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/09/23/federal-government-moving-resources-support-puerto-rico-and-us-virgin
There are thousands of federal staff, including more than 500 FEMA personnel, on the ground in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands supporting response and recovery operations from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. 8 FEMA Urban Search & Rescue task forces are stationed and conducting operations in the Caribbean. FEMA US&R task forces have saved or assisted 557 individuals and two pets, while searching over 2,600 structures as of September 26.
The federal government is working with its interagency and private sector partners to support availability, transportation and delivery of fuel, based on priorities identified by Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The federal support for fuel transportation includes air and sea logistical support by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), U.S. Northern Command, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard, in coordination with the private sector.
Power is restored to Centro Médico Hospital in San Juan and San Pablo Hospital in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix and the Schneider Regional Medical Center in St. Thomas are re-energized and re-established as mobile hospitals.
The ports of San Juan, Fajardo, Culebra, Guayanilla, Salinas, Tallaboa, and Vieques are now open for daylight operations in Puerto Rico. The ports of Crown Bay, East Gregerie Channel, West Gregerie Channel, and Redhook Bay on St. Thomas, the ports of Krause Lagoon, Limetree Bay, and Frederiksted on St. Croix, and the port of Cruz Bay on St. John are open with restrictions.
FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, provided has provided more than 4 million meals, 6 million liters of water, nearly 300 infant and toddler kits, and 70,000 tarps and 15,000 rolls of roof sheeting to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria’s landfall.
An additional 7 million meals and 4 million liters of water are en route by barge to the islands, with additional federal supplies and contract support coming.
Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) communications assets and personnel continue to support FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT), Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), and other federal teams in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. An additional MERS team is scheduled to arrive Monday.
More than 100 satellite phones are en route to Puerto Rico to help address communications needs on the ground.
FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) is facilitating private sector requests for humanitarian relief. The NBEOC continues coordination between government and private sector organizations as the community responds to Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
Other federal agencies are taking the following actions:
For the first time since Hurricane Irma struck, there will be mail service in the U.S. Virgin Islands Tuesday. The Cruz Bay Post Office in St. John will be provide mail service Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In St. Thomas, more packages and mail are being brought in for Tuesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an order on September 24 authorizing FEMA and DoD to install and operate temporary water treatment units to provide clean water in the U.S. Virgin Islands to address concerns about a lack of clean alternative water supplies.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the DoD conducted medical evacuations for more than 150 patients from the islands to the continental United States. Medical evacuations from the islands will continue. A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) mobile communications team arrived in Puerto Rico to help improve communications across the storm-impacted area. USCG personnel continue to deliver critical FEMA relief supplies to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deployed debris experts to assist FEMA with debris management strategies in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands completed a Blue Roof install on Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, and completed its first residential Blue Roof install on September 23. Installations began on St. Croix Sunday, September 24.
Additionally, USACE has 86 generators on hand in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas with more than 186 additional generators en route. USACE and other supporting agencies have completed nine temporary power installs on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and completed more than 100 inspections.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations personnel are onsite in St. Thomas to evaluate, fix, and install FAA equipment, in support of air traffic control operations.
The National Guard Bureau (NGB) has thousands of Guard members on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands taking part in security and support operations. The Air National Guard is focused on transporting food, water, and communications capabilities as well as rapidly increasing airlift into affected areas.
Customs and Border Protection airplanes and helicopters are assisting with conducting damage assessment and search and rescue missions.
More than 180 Federal Law Enforcement Officers are in San Juan and the U.S. Virgin Islands supporting search and rescue, medical teams, and other federal responders.
The U.S. Coast Guard is operating nine cutters in the vicinity of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, bringing helicopter SAR support, while teams from CBP are operating two P-3 maritime patrol aircraft to assist in communications, a wide-area search, and distress signal monitoring capabilities. An additional five flight deck-equipped cutters, five patrol boats, four rotary wing, and one fixed wing aircraft are moving to the vicinity of U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to further support search and rescue efforts.
The National Guard Bureau (NGB) has more than 2,300 Guard members on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands taking part in security and support operations. The Air National Guard is focused on transporting food, water, and communications capabilities as well as rapidly increasing airlift into affected areas.
FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, provided more than 1.5-million meals, 1.1-million liters of water, nearly 300 infant and toddler kits, and nearly 12,000 emergency roofing kits to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for distribution to the public since Hurricane Maria’s landfall.
Thanks to the Coast Guard’s efforts, the mission-critical port of San Juan has reopened (with restrictions and for daylight transit only). The port is a crucial lifeline for Puerto Rico, which gets most of its supplies from the U.S. mainland. Early reports indicate that about 80 percent of the island’s agriculture was wiped out in the storm, which will raise the importance of food aid and commercial food shipments. In the USVI, most ports on St. Thomas and St. Croix have reopened with restrictions, along with Cruz Bay on St. John. www.maritime-executive.com/article/recovery-effort-ramps-up-in-puerto-rico
Before Maria USCG assets and personnel were strategically positioned with relief supplies, including water, in areas near the USVI and Puerto Rico.
USCG said the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley are en route from Curaçao to Puerto Rico and USVI with more than 800 gallons of bottled water. Air crews from USCG Sector Southeast in Miami are being deployed for search and rescue missions, and other resources will be delivered as needed by further assets and personnel.
Coast Guard personnel have been responding to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and to Hurricane Maria for days.