Trump vows U.S. will help Puerto Rico with recovery following Hurricane Maria

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- The U.S. Army North deputy commanding general, Brig. Gen. Rural areas, in particular, are not getting the supplies they need.

USA -based shipping firms also insist that the issue isn't the number of ships available but the ability to unload cargo in Puerto Rico and transport it from ports to other areas. The U.S. government is reported to be considering waiving shipping restrictions to the island to expedite the delivery of aid. U.S. states and territories typically cover 25 per cent of the costs, with the federal government paying the remaining 75 per cent.

Maria, the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in almost a century, cut a swath of destruction across the island last Wednesday with roof-ripping winds, torrential rains and pounding surf.

Morales said his brother in Houston got through to their father's cellphone Monday, but someone else answered before the connection was lost.

Many of them have not been home for a while, and now all they can think of is their home on a handsome island submerged with water.

"I got lucky: My AT&T cellphone worked in much of metro San Juan, so I could email my story every evening after typing or dictating my story into the Notes app", said Mazzei, who is now back on the mainland. The war ended with the US acquiring many of Spain's possessions, including Cuba, Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico. And a significant portion of the financial assistance provided by the Puerto Rican government was given in 2000 and 2004, well before the future USA president's company arrived on the scene. While the estimated 3 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico lost their power, in a manner of speaking, the entirety of America found itself in the dark.

During a press conference held on Tuesday, President Trump defended the administration's handling of the situation by pointing out that Puerto Rico is an island and that the government can't just "drive your trucks there from other states".

Puerto Rican officials and sympathetic members of Congress had called on Trump to relieve the island's cash-strapped government of the cost-sharing requirement. The support of others has helped Louisiana recover from previous events.

Maria's top sustained winds dropped Tuesday to near 75 miles per hour, and the National Hurricane Center expected it to weaken into a tropical storm by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

Trump has come under fire for tweeting repeatedly over the weekend about American football players kneeling during the national anthem while failing to mention Puerto Rico. Speaking out against the protests, he said, amounts to "respect for our country" and is part of his job.

Trump says during a speech in IN to sell his tax plan that "our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands", which were devastated by Hurricane Maria.

"The FDIC encourages banks to work constructively with customers experiencing difficulties beyond their control because of damage caused by Hurricane Maria", the regulator said in a statement to US lenders.

Federal money needs to be spent as effectively as possible to help the people of Puerto Rico, not to line the pockets of the same favored individuals and interests who benefited from the old ways of doing things. As Hurricane Maria swept through the island, it has caused significant damage to its infrastructure including its roads.

Spearheaded by Puerto Rico's First Lady Beatriz Rosselló, this organization is collecting funds to help residents rebuild their homes. The Grants also look forward to one to two trips to the USA territory each year.

The federal response to Maria faces obvious logistical challenges beyond those in Texas or Florida.

The US military is planning to deploy the USNS Comfort hospital ship to assist with FEMA's response efforts in Puerto Rico a week after Hurricane Maria smashed the island as a Category 4 storm, several defense officials told CNN.

She warned Trump that, "If you don't take this crisis seriously this is going to be your Katrina", referring to criticism of President George W. Bush following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Across this US territory, motorists desperate to communicate are herding on the sides of highways, bridges and exit ramps, hoping that their cell phones will come back to life. People are really dying.

"He has been acting proactively", said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to the New York Times Tuesday. Republican President Donald Trump plans to visit next week. People are scavenging for food, collecting water from mountain streams and drinking the rain. "This is tough stuff", Trump said.

"The whole island has been affected", Rodríguez-Andino says.

In an attempt to make my friend laugh, I asked Alex if the scene in Puerto Rico is like Lord of the Flies. As the island was cut off from the rest of the country, some five million mainlanders - as Puerto Ricans in the continental USA are known - were suddenly cut off from their homeland, and anxious for news of their loved ones.

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