Puerto Rico Still Not Receiving Aid: Gridlock

Thousands of shipping containers are in stand-still mode in Puerto Rico, preventing their contents with much needed supplies and food from reaching the people.

Nearly 100 percent of the island remains without power, and about 91 percent of cell sites are out of service, according to the most recent Department of Energy and FCC reports.

More on the distribution problems from NPR here. They can't distribute fuel. [More...]

Along with road conditions, authorities and shipping firms also say diesel shortages are to blame. Long lines for gas are persistent all over the island. Distributing fuel across Puerto Rico is FEMA's number one priority, the Department of Defense says, to help alleviate the issue....The governor of Puerto Rico has issued an appeal for anyone with a commercial license to help distribute gas.

Puerto Ricans are running out of cash. (There's been no power for the banks to approve transactions, depository institutions regain power, no ability for armored car services to reach bank branches, and for ATMs to dispense cash. Even groceries stores haven't been able to run credit cards, so the island has been operating on cash since Maria struck.

The military is now running the relief effort. But others are pitching in. Here's a press release from Jet Blue.

American response to Puerto Rico should go down in the record books as Donald Trump's biggest failure to date. (And were not even 1/4 through his term.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    Who failed? It sounds like it was DHS (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 03:50:28 AM EST
    DHS should have activated Puerto Rico National Guard 24 hrs ahead of landfall. DHS should have had a plan with DOD too. The minute we knew Puerto Rico did take a direct hit Comfort should have been on its way. Is the new head of DHS overwhelmed by 3 hurricane tragedies?

    Kelly is often course and arrogant, but downtown they are saying he could have/would have handled this deftly. He is practiced in managing a series of unfortunate events.

    But a certain someone who can't manage his own White House had to pull someone who was task critical out of that job in order to babysit him, and it destabilized the upper echelon  of DHS.

    Yeah, but Kelly (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 08:14:23 AM EST
    for his failings can't do a lot of this by himself. He had to get the Orange idiot to sign off on stuff and the idiot said he wasn't even going to lift the Jones Act until there was a public outcry.

    Well, Trump managed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 09:34:40 AM EST
    to lift the Jones Act for Texas and Florida with no public outcry.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 12:41:49 PM EST
    Steve Schmidt said we all should just start saying it plain and clear that Trump is a racist. He is treating Puerto Rico like they are not worthy of attention.

    Yes, how did that occur? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 09:46:31 AM EST
    But nothing for Puerto Rico?

    Actually, my understanding is that (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 10:40:44 AM EST
    PR was included in the same waiver that covered Florida and Texas, but it expired by the time Maria hit.

    Release Date:
    September 8, 2017

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    Contact: 202-282-8010

    WASHINGTON - Today, in recognition of the severity of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke approved a waiver of the federal Jones Act.  This waiver will ensure that over the next week, all options are available to distribute fuel to states and territories impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, both historic storms. The waiver will be in effect for seven days after signature and is specifically tailored to transportation of refined products in hurricane-affected areas.

    But, as you can see, it was specific to the distribution of fuel - it mentions no other goods.

    The time limitation makes these waivers almost useless, since these ships move at a glacial pace, and it takes a lot of time to get them where they need to go.  


    Sure (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 09:45:28 AM EST
    It would have gotten done though. Trump seems clueless as to what needs to happen. Not that a new President would have known the procedures, but most care enough to ask those who do know.

    Agreed MT. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 10:21:09 AM EST
    After the major mistakes made dispersing aid to victims of Katrina, Obama was ready to help down here.  We had a few major storms and one time a batch of sand washed across the highway near me in the middle keys.  A news helicopter happened to film a police car driving over a slightly bumpy area, and the National Guard was sent down immediately.  

    There are warehouses up in Homestead loaded with water, ice, and MRE's.  The National Guard drove large trucks down immediately and set up in the Marathon airport entry.  We merely opened the rear hatch and they loaded my coolers with ice, while the other 20 year olds were putting packages of MRE's in the back seat.  We just slowly rolled along as they did that.  I think it was a practice run since nobody needed anything.

    Unfortunately they do need help in Puerto Rico and the USVI.  There were several private jets flying food, water, medical supplies, and more to those locations as soon as the Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Marathon, and Key West airports were opened.  We the people know what to do, why don't our leaders?  SNAFU's galore.  


    Hope all the supplies... (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 10:13:17 AM EST
    my company has rounded up can make it to the people...we got 3 skids full of water, canned goods, diapers, toiletries on the dock ready to ship.  

    Paul Krugman, NYtimes, Sept. 29, 2017, (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 11:50:19 AM EST
    "And where's the leadership?  There's a reason we expect visible focus by the president on major national disasters, including a visit in the affected area as soon as possible (Trump doesn't plan to visit Puerto Rico until next week).

      It's not just theater; it's a signal about urgent priorities to the rest of the government, and to some extent to the nation at large... But Trump spent days after Maria's strike tweeting about football players.

     When he finally got around to saying something about Puerto Rico, it was to blame the territory for its own problems

    . ..The impression one gets is of a massively self-centered individual who can't bring himself to focus on other people's needs, even when that's the core of his job."

    Combine a massively self-centered (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 12:10:50 PM EST
    president with understaffed agencies and ill-experienced staffers, and this is what you get: a growing humanitarian crisis that does not speak well of this nation.

    Not to mention that this is part of the calculation:

       *  Puerto Ricans can't vote in general elections
       *  Brown people who speak a foreign language? (shudders)
       *  Puerto Rico is deeply in debt to Wall Street.

    So, who cares, right?  


    Wall Street cares... (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 01:05:11 PM EST
    and out of the kindness of their overflowing hearts, they're offering more predatory loans.

    Less than no shame.


    They might start caring (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 01:57:22 PM EST
    when a hundred thousand (minimum) relocate to Florida to be able to work and get health care in the next 2 years.

    To put it in persepctive (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 29, 2017 at 02:42:16 PM EST
    We had 12 people die in a Hollywood Fl nursing home because it lost power for only a couple of days.  Can't even imagine the repercussions here.

    IMO (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Sep 30, 2017 at 10:04:24 AM EST
    Trumps response to this is entirely calculated.  to us, normal people, it seems unimaginable.  but to Trumps base, a base that he is losing because of private jets and taxpayer funded vacations, it makes total sense because these are not really americans.  maybe some "aid" but TX or FL level money?  please.

    his disgraceful tweets this morning which i will not even link to or quote are ENTIRELY calculated.

    the Puerto rican people are pawns.  as are we all.


    Probably the same (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 30, 2017 at 05:31:53 PM EST
    calculation when he criticized Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, after the terrorist attack. Of course, Trump misconstrued what Mr. Khan said (no need to be alarmed, in the context of increased police presence v politically correct as Trump claimed).

    When do we reach the point (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 01, 2017 at 10:32:12 AM EST
    That his image becomes unrecoverable? Will we have to hear one more time some pundit tell us all that finally Trump has become Presidential?