This year’s hurricane season has brought so much death and destruction to so many Areas along the Atlantic Ocean. Puerto Rico was hit hard, first by Hurricane Irma, then in the following weeks, by Hurricane Maria. The devastation the massive storms caused is indescribable. Now, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello has come forward to offer praise to President Donald Trump. He is pleased with Trump’s quick response following Hurricane Maria. He explained that the American Island is struggling daily to recover from what Politico has called “the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico.”
Governor Rossello along with other officials applauded President Trump and the United States Federal government for their detailed relief plan that was put into place before Maria even made landfall. Puerto Rico has been neglected in the past by the Federal government. 3.4 million Americans call the island home. Puerto Rico doesn’t send Representatives or Senators to Congress and has zero Electoral College votes.
Puerto Rico’s non-voting congressional representative, Resident Commission Jenniffer Gonzalez, stated that President Trump’s response is very welcome in comparison to administrations in the past. She explained, “This is the first time we get this type of federal coordination.”
The catastrophic Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Wednesday. It was a Category 4 storm when it hit, and the devastation could be seen immediately. So far, authorities have confirmed 10 deaths due to Hurricane Maria. They are expecting the death toll to rise as more remote towns’ mayors report. First responders are having a hard time finding their way into certain areas of the island.
As mayors make their way to the capital in San Juan to meet with Governor Rossello, they carry with them a laundry list of supplies that is needed desperately by the people of their jurisdictions.
USA Politics Today reported:
Mayor Jose Sanchez Gonzalez, from the coastal town of Manati, told the governor that his community is completely out of fuel and fresh water. “Hysteria is starting to spread. The hospital is about to collapse. It’s at capacity,” he said, with tears streaming down his face. “We need someone to help us immediately.”
Authorities from the community of Vega Alta told the governor that the entire neighborhood of Fatima could not be reached. The authorities were desperate to enter the neighborhood and evacuate residents from a local nursing home. “I need to get there today,” Mayor Oscar Santiago said to reporters. “Not tomorrow, today.”
Almost immediately following the wake of Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria struck the already tattered island of Puerto Rico, destroying countless buildings. 1360 of the 1600 phone towers on the island were taken down by the massive storm. It was reported that 85 percent of above ground internet, cable, and phone lines were knocked out completely. Huge areas of the island are still without power, and they cannot afford to repair their infrastructure, which was already falling apart.
Many are wondering with all of the damage that Houston, Texas and parts of Florida sustained during their respective hurricanes if the United States will be able to sufficiently help Puerto Rico. The answer is yes. This past Saturday, the main port of Puerto Rico reopened which let in 11 ships that were stocked to the brim with full federal aid. They delivered 23,000 cots, 1.6 million gallons of water, food, along with generators as well. There are a ton more ships due to arrive within the next few days as well. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials come on the ships. They had satellite phones to distribute to all of the towns and cities in Puerto Rico. Many in Puerto Rico are still without power, fresh water, or communication to the outside world.
$1 billion in local funds was freed up by the Federal government in order to help with Hurricane Maria relief efforts. Governor Rossello explains that despite everything the island has been provided with, they still are in need of more assistance. He stated, “We’re going to request waivers and other mechanisms so Puerto Rico can respond to this crisis. Puerto Rico will practically collect no taxes in the next month.”
Let’s hope President Trump and the United States government continue to aid in relief efforts as they have been. It’s great to see Rossello speaking out in favor of President Trump after he has done so much to help the island. Let’s all work together to get Puerto Rico back on their feet!