Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria
February 8, 2018
Last year, Puerto Rico was hit with Hurricane Maria and Irma, one after the other. The official death toll is 64 people, but officials say there could be more than 1,000 as they still cannot get too many of the surrounding islands. Many people were left without power and an insufficient amount of food or water on the island.
As of today, 83 percent of the island has regained power according to the Puerto Rican government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assisted in providing food and water for the people, donating 65 million bottles of water, equivalent to $361 million. They also provided $1.6 billion worth of food.
Currently, there are 1,524 generators installed. As of Jan. 31, of the generators are operating. The Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority (PREPA) has informed the public that they have sent more than 5,500 workers to restore power. Minnesota based company Xcel Energy sent more than 70 workers to help in the aid on Jan. 29. More than 800 members of the Peace Corps helped clean up the mess left by the hurricanes.
Many residents are still displaced as the clean up continues. Copious amounts of people are staying in temporary housing, including hotels, funded by FEMA. Additionally, thousands traveled to the continental U.S., specifically to Massachusetts to find refuge.
The most desirable city it Holyoke, Massachusetts. To the people, it feels like home (wbur.org). Many of the refugees are staying in hotels for the time being. FEMA has been paying for a housing of many.
Unfortunately, the program is set to end on Feb. 14. The deadline could end mid-March for those who qualify for medical reasons or have unfinished houses. There is no word on what is to occur after this deadline for those still displaced.