Release date: September 30, 2017
Release Number: HQ-17-151
WASHINGTON –Thousands of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel and partners continue to provide life-sustaining resources to Puerto Rico while aggressively working 24-hours to restore power and return daily routine.
Despite the complex challenges posed by damage from Hurricane Maria, FEMA and its federal partners are supporting Puerto Rico in gaining and restoring access to ports, airports and roadways, rescuing lives during search and rescue operations, assessing all hospitals, and moving commodities into all 78 municipalities.
Ten days ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall. To date, FEMA and our federal partners have worked side-by-side with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to support their response efforts. Here are some examples of actions underway:
Urban Search and Rescue teams, working alongside local law enforcement, covered 100 percent of Puerto Rico and rescued 843 individuals.
Power was restored to 59 hospitals in Puerto Rico — these hospitals are operationally able to care for the patients they have or are receiving new patients. Efforts to restore the power grid on the island are on-going among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.
Drinking water is being restored; 45 percent of customers now have potable water following testing by the Environmental Protection Agency and local officials.
Stores are opening with more than 60 percent of gas stations operating and providing fuel, and 49 percent of grocery and big box stores on the island now open.
Commodities, such as food and water, are being delivered and distributed daily to the municipality leadership.
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to assess ports, with 70 percent of ports open and conducting operations.
Efforts by the Federal Aviation Administration, along with the Department of Defense, enabled the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) to accommodate daily commercial flights.
Work to clear debris continues; so far 11 highways are cleared of debris and open.
There are now over 4,000 National Guard members on the ground, from 21 states and territories across the nation.
Relentless hours and continuous efforts from Puerto Rico, FEMA, and its federal partners are building Puerto Rico’s road to recovery. Return to daily routine won’t be accomplished overnight, but progress continues to be made. FEMA and the federal partners were there when the storm hit, and we will be there throughout the recovery.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, https://www.twitter.com/fema, www.twitter.com/femaspox, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at www.twitter.com/fema_brock.
September 30, 2017 – 20:53