Over 120,000 Still Without Power as Joe Biden Visits Puerto Rico Two Weeks After Hurricane Fiona

Leida Rodriguez and Javier Castellanos stand in front of their house that collapsed into a
Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty

President Joe Biden plans to visit Puerto Rico on Monday two weeks after Hurricane Fiona smashed into the island, devastating the power grid.

The White House previewed Biden’s plan to announce $60 million in additional funds to shore up levees, strengthen flood walls, and create a new flood warning system for the island.

But that does not address the more than 120,000 customers who are still without power two weeks after the category one hurricane hit.

Biden will travel to the island after he admitted the federal government still had work to do.

“We owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they’ve already gotten,” he said during an event with the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday.

Gilberto Pacheco Padilla, 65, stands in front of his wrecked wooden house after Hurricane Fiona flooded Villa Esperanza in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 23, 2022. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The long-standing problematic power grid in Puerto Rico is now run by LUMA Energy, a Canadian-American power company that took over operations in 2021 from the government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

In 2020, FEMA dedicated more than $9.4 billion in funding to modernize the grid but Hurricane Fiona demonstrated that there is still much more to do.

The president and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit a community center and help pack bags of food and essential items for people still struggling from the storm’s impact.

File/Damaged household items outside a home following Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. A week after Hurricane Fiona swiped Puerto Rico, causing catastrophic flooding and knocking out power to the entire island of 3.1 million, just over half of the US commonwealth has electricity, officials said. (Gabriella N. Baez/Bloomberg via Getty)

Biden criticized former President Donald Trump during the 2020 campaign for failing the island after Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm that devastated the population.

“What did he do? Toss rolls of paper towels at them. He doesn’t have any real answers,” Biden said during a drive-in car rally in Tampa.


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