Federal Government Moving Resources to Support Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Federal Government Moving Resources to Support Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Release date:
September 23, 2017
Release Number:
HQ-17-135

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) top priority is continuing to provide life-saving resources to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

FEMA and its federal partners continue 24-hour operations, working aggressively to restore power and operability of ports and other transportation access points to bring additional commodities and personnel into disaster-affected areas.  Several airports and ports have successfully been opened on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to bring in commodities, personnel, and life-saving and life-safety resources.

The federal support for Hurricane Maria includes air and sea logistical support by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), U.S. Northern Command, the U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard, in coordination with the private sector.  Fuel, equipment, and commodities to support the response effort will continue to flow through airports and ports, as power is restored and facilities are opened.  Two U.S. Coast Guard cutters continue conducting port assessment in St. John and St. Thomas.

The Department of Transportation successfully opened five airports in Puerto Rico, and two airports in the U.S. Virgin Islands, for military and relief flights to bring in commodities, and lifesaving and life sustaining resources.  Federal partners established a fuel distribution site in San Juan for federal and local entities to support first responder and critical facility needs.

As of 8 a.m. EDT this morning, on Puerto Rico, the port of San Juan re-opened for daylight operations, and other ports are undergoing assessments.  On St. Thomas, the ports of Crown Bay, East Gregerie Channel, and West Gregerie Channel are open with restrictions, while other ports are being assessed.  On St. Croix, the ports of Krause Lagoon and Limetree Bay are open with restrictions, while other ports are being assessed.

As of 5 a.m. EDT this morning,  flights and sea vessels loaded with commodities are arriving or awaiting airport/port opening and clearance for delivery:

  • Six commercial barges already transported and delivered meals, water, generators, cots, and other commodities to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Three flights per day to St. Croix, each carrying approximately 33,000 meals.
  • The logistics support ship SS Wright arrived carrying more than 1.1 million meals, and nearly one million liters of freshwater.
  • Two shipping barges with 1.2 million liters of water, 31 generators, and more than 6,000 cots have arrived in St. Thomas.
  • Two additional shipping barges loaded with food, water, and emergency relief supplies are en route to the Caribbean Sea from Florida.
  • Millions of additional meals are being flown to Puerto Rico from staging areas in Kentucky and Florida.
  • DLA is transporting a shipment of 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico with arrival in the coming days.

Over the past three days, the federal government has undertaken an unprecedented response effort to continue moving resources and supplies into Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information about federal actions to support response efforts in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, go to www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria.

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FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.twitter.com/femaspox, www.facebook.com/fema and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Brock Long’s activities at www.twitter.com/fema_brock.

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.

Last Updated:
September 23, 2017 – 15:15
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