For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
WASHINGTON – Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke and Acting Deputy Administrator of FEMA Daniel Kaniewski traveled to Puerto Rico to discuss Hurricane Maria recovery efforts with Federal Coordinating Official Mike Byrne and his senior leadership team. The meetings included briefings from FEMA officials and the U.S. Department of Defense, including U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The progress made so far is encouraging. All airports and federally-maintained deep-water ports are open, or open with restrictions. Additionally, 97% of hospitals and over 180 schools are open. FEMA continues to provide commodities and life-saving operations. To date, 385 generators have been installed and more than 65,000 tarps have been distributed. The top priority is to restore the electric grid which will enable citizens to return to their normal routines.
“While our work to provide relief to those in need has not ended, we are increasingly looking to the future and focusing on recovery – the long-term stabilization that Puerto Rico needs,” said Acting Secretary Elaine Duke.
While visiting the Joint Field Office, Acting Secretary Duke met with Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Eric Hargan and discussed the important contribution HHS is making to the recovery effort.
Yesterday, Acting Secretary Duke met with Governor Ricardo Rosselló in Washington during which she reiterated the department’s commitment to support him during the long road to recovery that’s ahead.
More than 15,000 federal civilian personnel and military service members are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands engaging in response and recovery operations from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
# # #