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Washington Reacts to Hurricane Maria

Today is a somber day for Puerto Rico. This morning, the eye of hurricane Maria arrived to the island. Reports from the island already note great damage to the power infrastructure and vast flooding around the streets.

With the imminent repercussions that hurricane Maria poses, the federal government is already showing great support to the island. The President tweeted last night the following: “Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you-will be there to help!”

In addition to the President showing support, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave the following statement last night in the Senate floor:

“Let me close by asking all of you to take a moment tonight, if you can and you wish, to pray for the island of Puerto Rico, a U.S. Territory, where millions of our fellow Americans are staring down the barrel of the most powerful storm that ever has perhaps hit that island, and this after already getting hit by Irma just a week ago. It has the potential to be an extraordinary catastrophe. We pray that is not the case. I hope we stand ready to assist our fellow Americans on the island of Puerto Rico. Let’s pray for them tonight because tomorrow morning is going to be a very difficult time for them as this extraordinary hurricane, Hurricane Maria, is about to slam right into them”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also gave this statement last night in the Senate floor:

“Let me first of all say how deeply we feel about folks who have been affected by these mammoth storms in the gulf coast, in Florida, and in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as well as others elsewhere. Our hearts and prayers are with them.”

Bipartisan support was not only limited to the senate floor last night, other officials have expressed their support through their social media accounts:

Mike Pence also made this remark to the U.N. Security Council: “As we gather at this historic assembly, I know all of our hearts are with the people of Puerto Rico as they face Hurricane Maria and its aftermath.”

In addition, today the President’s amendment to the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the territory of Puerto Rico (FEMA–4336—DR), dated September 10, 2017, became official. The amendment adds the municipalities of Canóvanas and Loiza to be included in the affected areas and give them the ability to receive Physical Damage and Economic Injury Loans. Also, it identifies the following municipalities as affected areas eligible to receive economic injury loans only:  Carolina, Gurabo, Juncos, Las Piedras, and Rio Grande. With this amendment, the municipalities are able to apply for these loans until June 11, 2018.

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