Sunday, July 5, 2020

FEMA: Hurricane Recovery Efforts Continue with Funding for 121 Projects

By on May 19, 2020

SAN JUAN – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it and Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience, or COR3, approved last week more than $37 million in additional funds for 121 projects related to the island’s recovery from 2017 hurricanes Irma and María.

FEMA works with COR3 through the agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the Government of Puerto Rico for expenses related to the historic hurricanes.

In its news release, which include reactions from several mayors, FEMA said that among the new grants are more than $103,000 for the municipality of Trujillo Alto to pave roads, replace fences and work on the slope of the Rosa Flores Road in the Carraízo neighborhood. Over $16,000 of this allocation will be used for mitigation measures to stabilize the embankment and strengthen the road to withstand future disasters.

“Of the 125 projects we are working on with FEMA, eight have already been approved and the Rosa Flores Road in the Carraízo neighborhood is one of the most pressing, due to the safety issue it represents. That is why we are very eager to begin the repaving work, the installation of fences and to quickly attend to the landslide in the area in order to ensure the well-being of the people who pass through the area,” the release quotes Trujillo Alto’s mayor, José Luis Cruz, as saying.

The federal agency wrote that nearly $65,000 was approved to repair the Germán Rosario Theatre in Camuy, which includes addressing mold damage, replacing the lights, the pedestrian door and the seats of this emblematic center.

“The project for this municipal theater named after the King of Troubadours includes nearly $47,000 to install waterproof suspended acoustic tiles on the roof and two flood barriers as mitigation measures,” the release reads. “During its prime, the facility served as a venue for theatrical performances and nonprofit activities. However, hurricanes Irma and Maria collapsed the roof, ruined its carpets and air conditioners.”

The agency quoted Camuy Mayor Gabriel Hernández Rodríguez: “Thanks to FEMA, we will be able to begin the work and, once the insurance claim process is completed, we are hopeful that we will be able to continue with the repairs.”

Funds were approved for Ceiba, where nearly $412,000 was earmarked for the repair of the BMX bicycle racetrack at the Félix Pedraza Sports Complex. In addition to repairs to the pavilion building and the track, about $15,000 will be used to install a drainage system under the track and a more resistant surface.

“When repairing facilities, FEMA has always emphasized the importance of code compliance to avoid future damage,” said the mayor of Ceiba, Ángel Cruz Ramos, who according to the release added that, as a result of the recent obligation, some “1,500 people will be able to enjoy the facilities,” which also provides a space for the soccer team, athletic team and those who practice CrossFit.

FEMA has obligated more than $6.7 billion for Puerto Rico under its Public Assistance program since 2017. The latest grants obligated are as follows:

• Over $21.5 million for repairs to roads and bridges.
• Nearly $7.4 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.
• Over $4 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.
• Nearly $4 million to municipalities and government agencies for administrative costs.
• Nearly $264,000 for emergency protective measures.
• Over $74,000 for debris removal.

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