Pentagon: Majority Of Puerto Rico Gas Stations And Grocery Stores Now Open

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ernest R. Scott/Released)171001-N-ZN152-0045

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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The majority of retail gas, grocery stores, and big box stores are now open in Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense’s Monday situation update to reporters reveals.

The U.S. military is currently undertaking a massive logistics effort to restore power, basic services, and rebuild infrastructure for the nearly 3.4 million American citizens living on the island. Other critical services have yet to be restored with only 14 hospitals with access to intermittent power access, and cell phone service available on only 11 percent of the island.

Thousands of troops are now in Puerto Rico assisting in disaster recovery assistance along with two warships coordinating aid delivery. The USNS Comfort, a hospital ship, will arrive to the island Tuesday with supplies and 800 medical personnel.

All airports on Puerto Rico are now open along with eight sea ports, ensuring aid can be delivered in a more timely manner. The island’s location, nearly 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. state, has posed a massive logistics challenge for the U.S. government.

President Donald Trump highlighted the sheer distance of of the commonwealth in a White House appearance Tuesday. “It’s the most difficult job because it’s on the island. It’s on an island in the middle of the ocean. It’s out in the ocean. You can’t just drive your trucks there from other states, “the president said.

The island was hit by both Hurricane’s Irma and Maria devastating the entire country’s power system, sewage system, and depriving much of the population of drinking water.

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