Puerto Rico requests disaster declaration for 15 more towns
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) agents requested the U.S. government Friday to approve disaster declarations for 15 more municipalities after the passage of Hurricane Irma.
“Once the municipalities completed their damage reports, I requested their inclusion in the presidential disaster declaration. The municipalities are Aguas Buenas, Barranquitas, Bayamón, Camuy, Cataño, Ciales, Comerío, Hatillo, Jayuya, Las Piedras, Quebradillas, Salinas, San Juan, Vega Baja and Yauco,” the governor said.
This group of municipalities joins a dozen others that already had disaster declarations approved by President Donald Trump. Among these, Culebra, Vieques, Loíza and Canóvanas can request help from the individual assistance program, while Adjuntas, Carolina, Guaynabo, Juncos, Luquillo, Orocovis, Patillas and Utuado classified within the aid program for damage to infrastructure.
“The disaster declaration allows federal funds to be used to complete the recovery process in these municipalities. FEMA has collaborated with the government since the first day and as soon as the reports from the municipalities were delivered our requests were addressed quickly,” the governor said.
For his part, the regional administrator of FEMA in the Caribbean, Alejandro de la Campa, explained that damage assessment continues, thus more municipalities may get federal funds.
If they are included in the disaster declaration, these municipalities would be eligible for the Public Assistance Program (infrastructure), which can provide federal funds under the cost-sharing concept for the removal of debris, emergency work and replacing facilities affected by the storm.
Hurricane Irma’s economic impact on the island has surpassed $1 billion.