The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently awarded more than $194 million in additional Public Assistance grants for Hurricane María recovery in Puerto Rico.
To date, the FEMA Public Assistance program has obligated $2.2 billion in total funding to the government of Puerto Rico and municipalities for debris removal and emergency protective measures, the agency confirmed.
Emergency protective measures are actions taken to eliminate or lessen immediate threats either to lives, public health or safety, or significant additional damage to public or private property in a cost-effective manner.
The following grants were recently approved:
- For debris removal:
- More than $168 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Transportation and Public Works.
- More than $5 million to the Municipality of Añasco.
- Nearly $2 million to the Municipality of San Sebastián.
- More than $3.1 million to the Municipality of Vega Alta.
- More than $8.7 million to the Municipality of Bayamon for emergency protective measures.
- Nearly $3 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Health for emergency protective measures.
- More than $2.3 million to the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority for emergency protective measures to purchase and install six floating pumps to supplement water flow at the Guajataca Dam.
- More than $2.3 million to the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources for emergency protective measures for generator use at flood-control pump stations.
The Public Assistance program provides grants to eligible government organizations and certain private nonprofit organizations for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities.
The program also encourages protection of these damaged facilities from future events by providing assistance for hazard mitigation measures during the recovery process. The program is funded by FEMA and administered by the government of Puerto Rico.
8 towns get $39M in FEMA loans
Meanwhile, FEMA confirmed the approval of more than $39 million in low-interest community disaster loans to help eight municipalities continue essential operations while focusing on their long-term recovery from hurricanes Irma and María.
The municipalities approved for $5 million each are: Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo, Canóvanas, Carolina, Manatí, Mayaguez, and Peñuelas. The municipality of Orocovis was approved for $4.1 million.
In April, FEMA approved more than $53.7 million in community disaster loans for 12 municipalities. The municipalities of Bayamón, Caguas, Humacao, Juncos, Ponce, Toa Baja and Trujillo Alto have been approved for $5 million each.
Río Grande has been approved for 4.65 million, Sabana Grande for 2.47 million, Salinas for 2.97 million, San Lorenzo for 3.7 million and Yabucoa for 4.9 million.
“The loans will provide municipalities with the resources and flexibility to continue delivering essential services to their communities while they recover from the storms,” FEMA said, adding loan applications are pending for additional municipalities to help with their essential functions.