The U.S. military has warships, helicopters and several transport aircraft involved in hurricane recovery efforts for a devastated Puerto Rico.
The majority of Puerto Rico’s power grid has been destroyed, along with access to clean water and fuel supplies. Authorities believe that it will take months to restore full power access, leaving millions facing an uncertain future.
The USS Kearsarge group “has conducted a combined eight medical evacuations, 148 airlifts and delivered 44,177 lbs of relief supplies and cargo to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands since Hurricane Maria struck,” U.S. Northern Command noted in a Monday release. NORTHCOM also noted that U.S. strategic airlift command is operating at a high tempo delivering critical, lifesaving aid to the island, while the U.S. Army is deploying 8 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to assist distribution efforts.
Thousands of U.S. National Guardsman are involved in Hurricane Relief efforts, but officials warn that recovery efforts will be difficult. “This response in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is going to challenge the system,” Chief of the National Guard Bureau General Joseph L. Lengyel told The Hill Monday, adding “Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are not Texas and Florida. They’re out here in the middle of the ocean. It’s more complicated to get people here, it’s more complicated to fix the power grids, it’s more complicated to fix a whole lot of other things.”
— CNN (@CNN) September 26, 2017
“We simply can’t drive thousands of power trucks to Puerto Rico to help on power restoration,” Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Brown told The Washington Post.
“The magnitude of this catastrophe is enormous. This is going to take a lot of help, a lot of collaboration,” Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello told PBS Monday.
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