WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hurricane Fiona has hurt the island of Puerto Rico, knocking out power and floods destroying homes, displacing many people. Now, New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are pushing for more assistance to the island.
Schumer says around this time five years ago, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. He adds that disaster exposed the weaknesses of the power grid and other infrastructure on the island.
Since then, Congress approved $21 billion dollars to help rebuild housing, water, and the power grid, but Schumer and the other members are frustrated that only a fraction of that money has been spent and now with Hurricane Fiona, the island is once again hurt by the lack of stable infrastructure.
“According to the GAO of that 21 billion dollars, only two percent of that money has been spent, two percent. When the island was already devastated by Maria and lay open to more devastation like Fiona since things weren’t fixed. Is that outrageous? While in large part it was due to the Trump Administration callousness, it’s also in large part due to the ongoing conflict on the island for what resources should power Puerto Rico because 12 billion of that was for a new power grid,” said Schumer.
“The federal government has to help the people of Puerto Rico survive, recover and rebuild,” said Gillibrand. “Rebuild stronger and rebuild in a more resilient way.”
Hurricane Fiona knocked out power and water to most of the island. Hundreds of people have been rescued who got stranded.
Puerto Rico’s governor is concerned it could take days to get the lights back on. Gillibrand and Schumer are calling on FEMA to do more for the island.