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After Visit, Rep. Rosa DeLauro Is Optimistic About Recovery Efforts In Puerto Rico

rosa_delauro.jpg
Lori Mack
/
WNPR
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro at New Haven City Hall.

U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro recently returned from a trip to Puerto Rico where she surveyed Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

Though clean water and lack of power continue to be issues on the island, especially in the hard to reach mountain areas, DeLauro said there is progress being made.

“Just in terms of power, we understand that by the end of February, beginning of March, we’ll be at 95 percent,” DeLauro said. “They say that that additional 5 percent, which is mainly in those mountainous regions, will be done by June.”

In terms of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, DeLauro seems to have softened a bit. She said FEMA got off to a slow start, but they’re moving along with rebuilding the island's infrastructure and they understand their shortcomings.

She told a crowd of reporters at City Hall in New Haven to “keep in mind there were 190-mile-an-hour winds. It’s an island, which makes it more difficult to get services in to, and there were some conditions that existed beforehand in terms of fragile infrastructure that had to be coped with as well.”

DeLauro said FEMA is concerned with the resources needed for planning and rebuilding for the long term. The big issue now, she said, is getting the $81 billion supplemental spending bill passed.

So far it’s gone through the House it heads next to the Senate.

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.

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