Federal agents began escorting 91 trucks to supply gasoline to local stations, 108 of which have security provided by the National Guard and the Puerto Rico Police, the government’s Secretary of Public Affairs and Public Policy, Ramón Rosario Cortés said Tuesday.
“With both state and federal operatives, today 23 trucks from Puma and 22 trucks from Total have started to replenish gas and more will be on their way,” he said during a briefing.
Meanwhile, the General Services Administration is already supplying gas to the municipalities of Loíza, San Juan, Cataño, Manatí, Canóvanas, Luquillo, Guayama, Guaynabo, Barceloneta, Aguas Buenas, Naranjito, Mayagüez, Ponce, Guayama and Manatí.
He also informed that any municipality can get diesel and gas at the GSA offices in San Juan, Mayagüez, Ponce, Guayama and Manatí.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) reported that the San Juan power plant stopped working, which eliminated the power that already had been reestablished in the metro area. Additionally, a special team is working to reestablish services, he added.
“In the meantime, efforts are made to strengthen the generation system that was already weak before the storm and was affected with the hurricane. Work is on the way to energize the Aguirre plant that would help the region and add power as Mayagüez and metro area,” Rosario said.
Meanwhile, it will be a priority to work with the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, ports, the Department of Natural & Environmental Resources pump station located at Baldorioty de Castro Avenue, the Doctor’s Hospital located in Santurce, the Minillas building in Santurce, the Mayagüez Medical Center and Ashford Hospital.
The Department of Housing and Community Development will be offering water to the municipalities of Barranquitas, Morovis, Coamo, Utuado, Humacao, Adjuntas, Comerío and San Germán. The National Guard organized several food drives for the municipalities of San Sebastián, Morovis, Yauco and the airport, Rosario said.
On Tuesday afternoon Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and the Senate President Thosmas Rivera-Schatz visited Utuado and Jayuya and to supply food and water.
Additionally, Rosario stressed that the “Dry Law” banning public alcohol consumption will continue in effect round-the-clock, while the curfew will continue from 7 p.m. to 5 a. m. until further notice. The police has arrested a total of 43 people for violations to the drinking ban and another 11 individuals for curfew violations, for a total of 36.
To date, it has been confirmed that 11,437 individuals and 116 pets are still in 179 shelters, which are receiving food and water from the mayors of the towns where the facilities are located
As for government employees, Rosselló said they should report to their posts, and if their offices are not operational, the should report to the Emergency Operations Center in nearby municipalities, where their mayor will inform them where to receive aid.
“Personnel working in school cafeterias, school teachers and directors should report to their places of work to help in school repairs. If any school has water service, it should open its doors to serve as an oasis for nearby communities that still do not have service,” he added.
NY firefighters arrive to help
In related news, a brigade of 86 New York Fire Department staff arrived to Puerto Rico Tuesday to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet. The firefighters will help in search and rescue missions, assist in the work being done to reestablish communications, and support the island’s security agencies.
“We’re grateful to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and these public servants from New York who arrived to our island today to offer their experience in rescue and safety at times of emergency,” Rosselló said.