Congressman Pete King Statement on Hurricane Maria Response & Recovery in Puerto Rico
The situation in Puerto Rico is extremely critical. Hurricane Maria caused a horrific loss of life and property. It also damaged or destroyed almost all of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, including ports, runways, and the power grid.
The full attention of the federal government must be on the Hurricane Maria response and recovery. More than 10,000 federal personnel are working on the island, with thousands more support personnel supporting those missions. The focus is now on clearing roads of debris, restoring power and emergency communications, and maintaining food, water, and commodities. FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, has provided millions of meals and gallons of water to Puerto Rico with additional supplies arriving to the island daily. The military under the command of Lt. Gen. Buchanan has assumed control of the entire operation.
While progress is being made, the island’s 3.4 million American citizens face severe challenges and a long path to rebuilding from total devastation. As we know from Super Storm Sandy, assessments and repairs are never done as quickly as we would like. In the case of Puerto Rico, it will likely be even longer due to limited accessibility and other logistical issues. But every effort must be made to reduce delays.
I assure you that I am fully committed to Puerto Rico’s recovery. As a member of the Puerto Rico Economic Development and Prosperity Caucus, I am working closely with Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon of Puerto Rico and the Administration to ensure the island gets the resources it needs. I will continue to do all that I can to see that Puerto Rico comes back strong.