US Military Takes Over Hurricane Relief Delivery In Puerto Rico

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
Font Size:

The Department of Defense took over the distribution of hurricane relief from government officials in Puerto Rico this weekend after local mayors failed to appropriately disperse the emergency items to the territory’s 78 municipalities, The Miami Herald reported Sunday.

According to The Herald, food, water, and medical supplies were previously delivered to 10 regional staging sites in Puerto Rico, but the mayors did not coordinate properly to distribute the large containers of relief at the staging sites.

Instead, 10 to 20 soldiers will be posted in every municipality with vehicles and logistical support, where they will deliver relief to every neighborhood.

“We need to push it directly to the barrio to ensure that everyone’s getting it,” Brig. Gen. Jose J. Reyes, assistant adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard said. “They will have some vehicles. They will have radio communications as well as logistics support…. They are going to be living there. They are going to be operating 24/7.”

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio reacted to the news of the hurricane relief being handled by the U.S. military saying in a tweet Sunday night, “[Twelve] days ago said @DeptofDefense must take over @PuertoRicoRelief appears they have finally reached same conclusion.”

More political back and forth over the plight of the island continued when some residents in Puerto Rico’s capital lost power Sunday during an attempt to restore electricity to the territory failed because a substation went down earlier in the day, NBC News reported.

The power outage prompted San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz to tweet early Sunday morning, “Power collapses in San Juan hospital with 4 patients now being transferred out. Have requested support from FEMA. NOTHING! @DavidBegnaud

FEMA Administrator Brock Long responded to the mayor on ABC’s “This Week,” stating: “We filtered out the mayor a long time ago. We don’t have time for the political noise.”


Follow Kerry on Twitter