The response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has its fair share of horror stories to this point. Six months since the storm devastated the island territory, there are still plenty of issues and needs for those living there. As pointed out in the LA Times, nearly 100,000 are still without power despite efforts restoring power to 93% of customers. This would is good news, but it has become tarnished by the controversial response by FEMA and the Trump administration in the wake of the powerful storm.
Now according to a new report by the Associated Press, a letter released by Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democratic member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, outlines the panic that spread in the aftermath and how FEMA remained silent to requests from Puerto Rican officials:
Emails and text messages made public Tuesday in a letter sent by the top Democrat on the House oversight committee describe frantic efforts by officials at Walmart and the Puerto Rican government to get fuel for generators to prevent food from going bad.
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency came only silence.
Within a three-hour time span, Walmart officials were able to connect, through email and text messages, with a congressman’s office and local Puerto Rican government officials. They passed on their urgent request for help, just two days after the hurricane made landfall.
Meanwhile, the letter states, FEMA remained unresponsive for days.