The situation in Hurricane Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico is so bleak that the military response needs to shift from talk to all-out action today or “drastic measures” will have to be taken, Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson declared in Orlando Wednesday. “This is a disaster of gargantuan proportions,” Nelson said.
Florida’s U.S. senators are calling for the “cavalry” – in the form of the U.S. military – to help in Puerto Rico, which was hammered last week by Hurricane Maria.
First, Hurricane Maria knocked out power and water to Puerto Rico. Then diesel fuel, gas and water became scarce. Now, it’s money.
Relatives helped Maribel Valentin Espino find shelter when Hurricane Maria roared through her community in northern Puerto Rico. Neighbors formed volunteer brigades to cut fallen trees and clear twisty mountain roads after the storm had passed. Now, friends and a local cattle ranch provide the water they need to survive in the tropical heat.
Gov. Rick Scott has “reaffirmed Florida’s commitment to supporting Puerto Rico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria,” according to a Tuesday news release. Scott “has notified the Florida National Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) to be on standby for deployment following an official request for assistance from Puerto Rico, and the Florida National Guard is already actively assisting Puerto Rico with organizing and submitting relief requests,” it said.
Puerto Rico’s nonvoting representative in the U.S. Congress said Sunday that Hurricane Maria’s destruction has set the island back decades, even as authorities worked to assess the extent of the damage.
As part of its recovery efforts, AT&T has set up a new website to help family members of those in Puerto Rico connect with loved ones after Hurricanes Maria and Irma.