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Hurricane Maria: Emergency Info for Puerto Rico

The arrival of hurricane Maria to the island is imminent. Tuesday morning, the hurricane regained classification of a category 5 storm at over 160 mph winds.

Hurricane Maria will start affecting the island tonight, finalizing its trajectory on Wednesday night. As of today at 2 p.m., all of Puerto Rico’s businesses and schools were closed.  They will remain closed through Thursday.

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico released the following statement:

“Two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage to Puerto Rico, and this week, Hurricane Maria threatens even more destruction. The Board is deeply concerned about the impacts to Puerto Rico and hopes that the Island’s residents are able to ride out the storm safely. Our prayers are with the people of Puerto Rico, and we urge everyone to heed the government’s warnings and instructions,” said José Carrión, chairman of the Board, who will remain on Island during the passing of the storm. “We remain steady in our commitment to assist with reconstruction efforts following the storm. As in the case with Hurricane Irma, we are prepared to activate our Title V authority under PROMESA to accelerate critical post-disaster reconstruction projects as needed.”

A main concern for the Island is PREPA’s infrastructure and the amount of time it will take to recover. In stating that the board is prepared to activate Title V, the board has pledged its full support and efforts to recover from this natural disaster.

The Governor, in his statement at 1:30 pm stated: “The impact of hurricane Maria on the island is imminent.” Furthermore, the Governor declared that everyone should be indoors and safe around 2 p.m. today as the storm will start arriving to the Island.  The island will receive an estimated 13 inches of rain. “If you live in a flooding area, you need to seek shelter now. Either with a family member in a more secure area or a government shelter, but it has to be one”, the Governor pleaded to the island. If anybody needs information about the government shelters, call 311 and they will give you the information. “Once the winds reach 50 mph, the rescue teams will not be able to assist you and give you shelter.”

In his closing statements the Governor stated: “This hurricane will affect the island’s entire infrastructure, now the priority is the security of all Puerto Rican families. Once the hurricane passes, we will begin to restore Puerto Rico with the help of the federal government through FEMA. We are under imminent danger. May God protect our families and bless Puerto Rico.”

Carlos Mercader, executive director of Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, wrote an article on The Hill were he stated the following:

“I have always been proud of my people, but this organic movement to help others brought tears to my eyes. We were now a safe haven, a place where Americans and others could come to for aid, shelter and relief. Over 2,500 people have passed through Puerto Rico from the affected region in the last week alone, more to be expected, and found a government and an island that, while enduring relief efforts locally, opened up their arms to everyone in need. This is what Puerto Rico is all about. Today, for the first time in 85 years, Puerto Rico lies in the direct path of a hurricane. In its wake, that safe haven will remain strong.”

This shows how the community is always up for the challenge. As a community, we help one another in the most disastrous situations. At the end of the day, family is instilled in our culture and our values. Together we will prosper and recover after this disaster.

To follow along hurricane Maria’s trajectory and updates, these are the National Hurricane Center links with important information:

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