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Biden endorses Puerto Rico’s disaster declaration after devastating impact of Hurricane Fiona


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President Joe Biden has issued a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico as the island recovers from the devastating impact of Hurricane Fiona.

The declaration directs federal assistance to support recovery efforts in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as hundreds of thousands of people remain without power, water or shelter. The funds are also supplementing local emergency services seeking to provide temporary shelter to those displaced by the major storm.

“Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects. of the disaster,” Biden said in the statement.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell has appointed Thomas J. Fargione as the Federal Coordinating Officer to oversee federal recovery operations.

HURRICANE FIONA: PUERTO RICO FACES ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT POWER, FLASH FLOODS AND ‘CATASTROPHIC’ DAMAGE

The funds aim to help more than 50 municipalities in the United States.

The president said federal funds have also been made available to local governments and some nonprofits through a cost-sharing basis for risk mitigation, debris removal and protective measures. for all municipalities in the country.

HURRICANE FIONA UPGRADES TO CATEGORY 4 AS IT MOVES AWAY FROM TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Homes are flooded on Salinas Beach after Hurricane Fiona hit Salinas, Puerto Rico, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

Fiona’s 125mph winds and heavy rain initially left the whole island without power, although some have since been restored.

“Hurricane Fiona severely affected power infrastructure and generation facilities across the island,” said Luma, the company that operates power transmission and distribution.

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Predicted track of Hurricane Fiona.

Predicted track of Hurricane Fiona.
(Credit: Fox News)

The company added: “We want to make it abundantly clear that restoration and revitalization efforts are continuing and are being impacted by severe flooding, impassable roads, downed trees, deteriorating equipment and downed lines.”

Fiona continues to travel north across the Atlantic Ocean, where it is expected to hit Bermuda and then Canada, mostly missing the United States, according to the National Hurricane Center. It intensified to a Category 4 storm.

Fox News’ Landon Mion contributed to this report.

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