Hurricane Fiona devastated the island with catastrophic flash flooding, unprecedented rainfall, and high-speed winds
Washington, D.C. –Today, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY07) on a bicameral push of 45 lawmakers urging President Biden to issue a Major Disaster Declaration for all of Puerto Rico’s municipalities in response to Hurricane Fiona.
The push comes days after the devastating effects of Hurricane Fiona on the island which days before of the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, ravaged it with catastrophic flash flooding, unprecedented rainfall, and high-speed winds.
“Governor Pierluisi has formally requested a Major Disaster Declaration for all of Puerto Rico’s municipalities in response to Hurricane Fiona. We strongly urge you to approve this request to ensure Puerto Rico has all the federal resources available to respond to this disaster,” wrote the lawmakers to President Biden.
“Furthermore, 750,000 homes remain without potable water. Bridges have collapsed, roads are blocked with debris, and schools are damaged,” the lawmakers added. “FEMA Public Assistance is urgently needed to begin restoring this vital infrastructure.”
In 2017, thousands of lives were lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria due to the Trump Administration’s botched response. Later in 2020, following Hurricane Maria, the island faced destructive earthquakes, requiring more disaster recovery resources.
“These events have left Puerto Rico’s critical infrastructure vulnerable to extreme weather. We urge you to help the people of Puerto Rico equitably recover from these multiple disasters and access the federal funding they urgently need,” concluded the lawmakers.
Lawmakers signing the letter: Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Velázquez (D- NY 10) Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Sens. Richard Blumenthal, (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.-14), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.-02), Val Demings (D-Fla.-10), Darren Soto (D-Fla.-09), Alma Adams (D-N.C.-12), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.-31), Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.-07), Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-Puerto Rico), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.-06), Al Green (D-Texas-09), Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.-15), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.-04), and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.-03).
A copy of the letter can be found here.