More than a quarter of Puerto Ricans will regain power before the month ends as the small American territory begins to recover from Hurricane Maria.
Another 47 percent of residents have running water, which should climb to 60 percent by the end of the week, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told reporters Monday at a news conference. Nearly 50 percent of Puerto Ricans have had their cellphone service restored, he also noted.
Rosselló’s comments come ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to the hurricane-ravaged island Tuesday. The governor described details of the operations as government agencies work to rebuild Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria pounded the American territory with 130 mile-per hour winds.
Analysts estimated earlier this month that Maria would result in Puerto Rico losing up to $40 billion in economic output while suffering another $55 billion in property damage. The hurricane hit the island, which had a total economic output in 2016 of $100 billion, as a Category 4 storm in September.
Rosselló waded into some political waters during Monday’s conference, telling reporters that the “root” of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and debt problems stem from the island’s non-state political status. He also said that the island’s problems will persist so long as Puerto Rico is the oldest “colonial territory.”
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