“There is damage to the trucking infrastructure, to the distributors, to the supermarkets, to the roads”. Replies to that tweet mention that this would be a much better use for the army than… well, anything else. Rob Brisley, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told CNN that a plane carrying 3,500 pounds of water, ready-to-eat meals, diapers and other supplies will fly from Miami to Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
This means aid from countries such as the nearby Dominican Republic can not directly be sent to the devastated island. “That’s not a question of ‘Gee, let’s dry up the water”.
In the US Virgin Islands, which are exempt from the law, US-made goods are about half as expensive, while the cost of living in Puerto Rico is 13 percent higher than on the American mainland.
We’re working to get Puerto Rico back online. “We right now have our top people from FEMA, and they have been there”.
The presenter of the video said the hospital she was in had “no water, no cash”, and added that “the hospital is completely full with no generators, so they have open windows”.
The 1920 Jones Act is a maritime law requiring shipments of goods between two USA ports to be made with American-flagged vessels, manned by American crews. “A 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of NY report said the Jones Act helps explain why household and commercial goods cost roughly double to ship from the East Coast to Puerto Rico than to the nearby Dominican Republic or Jamaica”.
The Department of Homeland Security had said as recently as Monday that the law would not be suspended.
The Jones Act restrictions were waived for Texas and Florida after they were hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma respectively, but not for Puerto Rico.
The president has a point, says Samantha Montano, an emergency management expert who blogs at Disasterology.
The officials said DHS can not issue a waiver due to increased shipping costs but must make the determination based on whether there are national-defense implications. “You want to make sure they have enough food”, said Manteiga. “Every day that goes by in some of these areas that do not have electricity or communications, the situation grows graver”.
“This has been the biggest catastrophe in the history Puerto Rico in terms of natural disasters”. “The real challenges happen on the island itself”.
The good news is that Puerto Rico, devastated after Hurricane Maria, is now seeing donations pouring in from people looking to help.
“The emergency issue before us today is not money in the next 24 to 48 hours”, Rubio said.
But it has made the price of goods in Puerto Rico more expensive than those on the United States mainland or other Caribbean islands.
McCain has been trying to repeal the Jones Act for the better part of a decade.
“I mean a lot of uncertainty”, he said. “I hope we don’t see Katrina-like images”.