FEMA, DHS give Puerto Rico update

Washington, D.C. (NBCNC) – The administrator of FEMA and the Acting Director of Homeland Security say every effort is being taken to help the people of Puerto Rico.

Brock Long and Elaine Duke spoke to reporters after leaving the White House Tuesday afternoon.

They stress that there have been thousands of FEMA representatives in Puerto Rico since before Hurricane Maria hit, and even before Hurricane Irma.

While they acknowledge to logistical challenges in getting aid to an island they say the process is moving forward.

FEMA even had to prioritize take over the only working airport and prioritize flights into and out of San Juan.

“As access to ports, airfields, and roads continues to open — which it is not very open yet — more resources will continue to flow into the hard hit areas,” Duke explained. “We continue to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and remain 100% committed to our full response and recovery efforts. The President is fully committed and has brought the cabinet together for a full federal response in supporting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

“The next thing that has to happen is that we’re dramatically increasing the federal footprint that’s there,” Long said. “We’re mobilizing our partners in the DOD… we’re putting forward a very robust sustainment force of thousands of people that are mobilizing as we speak, to come in to increase emergency communications, fuel distribution… They’ll be also helping us to make sure that we can transport safely and securely the food, the fuel, the water to the areas that we need to get to.”

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