Trump to visit Puerto Rico for first time as president
SAN JUAN — President Donald Trump will visit Puerto Rico in the coming days to see firsthand the damage caused by Hurricane Irma in the U.S. territory.
This will be Trump’s first visit to the island as president. He has been in Puerto Rico on several occasions, including for an event at Trump International Golf Club in 2008 and the coronation of Miss Universe in 2002.
“We have been in talks with the White House and discussed the damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico and the possibility of President Donald Trump visiting us. As the governor of Virgin Islands, Kenneth Mapp, has informed us, we expect confirmation of the agenda of the U.S. president,” the secretary of Public Affairs and Public Policy, Ramón Rosario, told Caribbean Business.
The exact date of the visit won’t be known until the White House confirms it.
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) 14 de septiembre de 2017
The president’s visit follows the federal government having issued a disaster declaration for 12 Puerto Rican municipalities, a list that could grow in the coming days.
In Puerto Rico, it is estimated that Hurricane Irma caused more than $600 million in losses, as well as $30.6 million in damages to the agricultural sector.
About 6,200 people on the island sought shelter from the storm, while 1.1 million electric utility customers lost power and 362,000 had no tap water service at one point.
The most affected municipality is Culebra, wherr at least 30 homes were destroyed and more than 50 damaged structurally.
The president will be visiting several places impacted by hurricanes Harvey, in Texas, and Irma, in Florida and neighboring states as well as the Caribbean. Trump will visit Naples, Fla., on Thursday, which is one of the U.S. jurisdictions affected by one of the most powerful storms seen on satellite. It is blamed for taking the lives of 61 people, 38 in the Caribbean and 23 stateside.
The Associated Press reported that Trump says he’s planning to make the trip “at the end of next week or the following week.”