Biden visits Puerto Rico and announces $60,000,000 in aid after hurricane

President Biden travels to Puerto Rico to assess damage from Hurricane Fiona

President Biden travels to Puerto Rico to assess damage from Hurricane Fiona (Image: AP)

president Joe Biden will travel to Puerto Rico on Monday where he will survey the damage from Hurricane Fiona and announce $60 million in financial aid to the island.

The devastating Category 1 hurricane left most of the island without power when it hit two weeks ago. Although power has been restored to most customers, approximately 137,000 Puerto Ricans are still without power.

Another 66,000 customers still do not have running water.

After making landfall in the southern city of Ponce, the President will announce $60 million in federal aid to the hurricane-devastated island area.

A house lies in mud after being washed away by Hurricane Fiona at Villa Esperanza in Salinas, Puerto Rico (Image: AP)

“Jill and I will be traveling to Puerto Rico and Florida this week to meet with families and local officials affected by Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian,” he said tweeted on Sunday. “We see what you’re going through and we’re with you.”

Biden is scheduled to travel to Florida on Wednesday, where dozens died after Hurricane Ian battered the state last week.

Puerto Rican Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced that he would welcome President and First Lady Jill Biden when she landed Monday.

Playa Salinas flooded after Hurricane Fiona passed in Salinas, Puerto Rico (Image: AP)

“Together with the emergency team, I will provide an update, increase infrastructure priorities and ensure the accelerated continuity of reconstruction,” Pierluisi said Twitter.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security waived a rule introduced by the Jones Act 1917 that allowed a British Petroleum ship to transport 300,000 barrels of fuel to the island to alleviate a shortage aggravated by Fiona.

The Jones Act requires all imports to Puerto Rico to be shipped on American ships built on American soil and crewed by American seamen.

FILE - A woman looks at her water-damaged belongings after flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona ripped through her home in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2022. On Monday, October 3, 2022, President Joe Biden will conduct a survey of damage from Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico, where tens of thousands of people are still without power two weeks after the storm hit. (AP Photo/Stephanie Rojas, file)

A woman looks at her water-damaged belongings after Hurricane Fiona flooded her home in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico (Image: AP)

Many critics are urging the Biden administration to completely suspend the Jones Act, which is driving up the prices of food and consumer goods.

Biden previously approved an emergency declaration for the island on Sept. 18 and mobilized the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief.

FEMA and the National Guard are currently conducting search and rescue, distributing supplies, restoring power, and clearing debris.

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Justin Scacco

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