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Hurricane María

González continues lobbying US gov’t for hurricane relief

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González.

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón is moving ahead with her agenda to “continue bringing together federal resources through each agency and through Congress” for Puerto Rico’s ongoing post-Hurricane María recovery efforts.

On Tuesday, she thanked First Lady Melania Trump’s call for continued contributions toward the recovery of communities affected by recent natural disasters, as well as the most recent disbursements by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to municipalities and public entities, and the increase in care for dialysis patients.

“The White House response has been key in opening up many of these grants under more flexible terms,” she said, adding on Saturday she will head a bipartisan House delegation visit to Puerto Rico, including Congressman Sean Duffy and members from New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.

The White House has released a video spot in which the First Lady urges people to continue to contribute to relief efforts for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and María.

Meanwhile, FEMA allocated more than $5.2 million to various municipalities, $1 million to the Puerto Rico National Guard and $171.2 million to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for recovery work.

These funds were awarded following the Disaster Declaration issued for Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20 by President Trump, under the Public Assistance program, which per Section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Act allows disbursement of federal funds to carry out emergency measures for repair, replacement or restoration of public property.

These funds fall under the emergency category, which has two subdivisions: Category A for debris removal, and Category B for emergency protection measures.

FEMA granted more than $1.2 million to Aguadilla, $1.5 million to Cayey for debris removal, and $1.5 million for emergency protection measures under the same concept.

FEMA had already previously announced various funding approvals for PREPA to continue operating, one of $42.8 million and another for $128.4 million — in both cases to purchase the fuel needed to provide immediate power to hospitals, water pumps and other critical facilities.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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