Boise Highlights

Revisiting Puerto Rico

What Has Happened So Far

This chart shows all of the most significant blackouts in American history. The Hurricane Maria blackout has obviously beat out all others and is proving to be very difficult to fix.

Photo Credit: Rhodium Group

This chart shows all of the most significant blackouts in American history. The Hurricane Maria blackout has obviously beat out all others and is proving to be very difficult to fix.

Erin Brassey, Reporter

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No one can deny that Puerto Rico has been put through the ringer due to Hurricane Maria. They have struggled a lot over the past four months, but it’s not over yet. The island is still working to rebuild itself into the society that it was.

Hurricane Maria seriously devastated the population of Puerto Rico. The population was around three million before the hurricane and since then, there has been quite the dramatic drop.

Death tolls related to the hurricane in the US territory are calculated at 547; however, there have been many other deaths on the island that the police decided weren’t hurricane related leading to higher numbers. The immigration numbers are even more severe. Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans traveled to the mainland after the hurricane in order to work and survive.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has announced that they are going to stop supplying food, water, and fuel to the island, handing these responsibilities back over to the government. Although the government was not quite ready for this action to occur, they do feel that the economic standing in some areas has improved.

FEMA has some supplies still on the island that can be handed out if necessary, and they will still have personnel around rural areas to help with other aspects of the disaster relief process. They are prepared to step back in to help with food, water, and fuel supply if it comes to that point, but the agency is ready to start moving out partially due to the amount of time and money already put into the project.

The Puerto Rico project is the longest period of time that FEMA has been involved with a disaster relief situation. Moreover, the agency has spent over $1.6 billion on food supplies as well as more than $361 million on water for the island.

Restoring power has been one of the biggest issues for Puerto Rico. Although some of the island does have power, a lot of people are still in the dark. The process of restoring power has taken a lot longer than previously expected.

The workers on the project believe that the power grid that the people of Puerto Rico were using before the hurricane was not completely up to code; however with their continual hardwork, it will be up to the current codes by the end of the work process.

Some say that they will have power restored as early as the end of March, but others believe it may take longer. They say  it could take up until May for the whole island to be back in the light.

Money is still quite limited among the society. They need the money to be able to afford all of the reconstruction projects necessary for the island to regain even just a semblance of what it was before the hurricane.

President Trump is neglecting to give Puerto Rico the help they truly need to be able to eventually stand on their own two feet again. He did authorize FEMA to be sent in for assistance; however, he has done very little since. He believes that he is not to blame for Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggles because the US territory was already in bad shape before the hurricane even struck.

Puerto Rico is slowly moving up in the world, but this definitely isn’t the end. They still need help to finish restoring power and reconstructing the island’s cities. It is believed that that they are recovered enough to take care of their own food and water supplies, but we will just have to wait and see what happens later on.

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Revisiting Puerto Rico