Local Red Cross volunteer sets up supply drive for Puerto Rico

Local Red Cross volunteer sets up supply drive for Puerto Rico

US President Donald Trump [official profile] on Thursday waived [WP report] the Jones Act [text, PDF], a near-century-old law, easing shipping restrictions for hurricane relief to be sent to Puerto Rico.

He joined the growing list of officials who argued that lifting the the Jones Act - a federal law created to protect the financial interests of United States shipbuilders by limiting shipping by foreign vessels - would help expedite supplies to the ravaged island. Now foreign-flagged vessels also will be able to move shipments, including much-needed relief supplies after Hurricane Maria battered the USA territory last week.

The federal government will pick up 100 percent of the costs for debris removal and other emergency protective measures in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Problems with shoreside distribution rather than any shortage of Jones Act vessels are proving to be the major obstacle to getting relief cargoes to Puerto Rico where they are needed.

In the meantime, the U.S.is also using planes to get supplies to Puerto Rico's residents.

And FEMA Administrator Brock Long said the efforts have been hampered by damaged airports and ports on the island. "It will go into effect immediately".

The Trump administration had said a waiver was not needed for Puerto Rico because there were enough US -flagged ships available to ferry goods to the island.

"You are seeing devastation in Puerto Rico".

More news: Former Army officer Henry Bolton elected new Ukip leader

However, he argued the model under which the administration was operating was tailored toward other hurricanes, while Puerto Rico was dealing with the fallout from multiple storms that had covered the totality of the island where millions of U.S. citizens reside and continue to struggle.

We're now learning that 50 radio operators are heading to the shelters in Puerto Rico to finally give relief to the many families wondering if their loved ones are alive.

US officials stressed that the federal disaster system kicked into gear days ago to provide food, water and rolled sheeting for roofs. He noted there was a seven-day waiver after Hurricane Irma, which was much less devastating to the island.

The Trump administration is sending additional resources to Puerto Rico to step up the federal response to Hurricane Maria, including a flotilla of ships and thousands more military personnel. Without it, they say the challenging road to recovery will only be prolonged. "What makes Mr. Price think that he's above the law and allowed to do this?" said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who used a poster board with a quote of Price from back in 2009, where the then-Congressman was complaining about charter jet use by government officials. "We have reached out to all 78 municipalities here in Puerto Rico and we have delivered some commodities to all of them".

Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million USA citizens.

On Wednesday morning, while speaking with CNN, Governor Roselló said he still expected the Jones Act restrictions to be lifted.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, says she is concerned that Trump's continued tweets about National Football League players show he doesn't grasp the severity of the crisis.

Related Articles