After calling for full coverage of hurricane relief costs, the Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings is spearheading a trip to Puerto Rico, where she and other members of Congress will oversee the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Demings’ office announced the trip on Friday, a day after Puerto Rico’s government. Pedro Pierluisi guest Demings to “see firsthand the devastating impact” of Hurricane Fiona, which tore up the island on monday.
In the days that followed, Demings called the president Joe Biden request a major disaster declaration, what he did on thursdayand for FEMA to initiate a 100% sharing of emergency aid costs – a movement others in Congress have also asked.
“The health and safety of the American people is my #1 priority,” Demings said in a statement. “It is critical that we hear directly from Puerto Rican communities and first responders on the ground so that we can assess Puerto Rico’s needs and FEMA’s response. We know this storm is another blow on top of the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Maria – a recovery that has taken far too long.
“We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past. The people of Puerto Rico deserve the best we can offer, and I expect to see an extremely high level of professionalism, care, urgency, and effective action from FEMA and other partners in the field. We must make families and communities whole. Five years after Hurricane Maria, I pledge to ensure that Puerto Rico has everything it needs to rebuild.
Eight people are confirmed to be dead following Hurricane Fiona, which Winds of 85 miles per hourheavy rain and flooding on the island as a Category 1 hurricane. Approximately 928,000 homes remain without electricity.
The storm is now heading towards Bermuda and has strengthened into Category 4, which Hurricane Maria was when it hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, killing nearly 3,000 people, displacing more than 200,000 others and leaving residents. without electricity for almost a year.
Demings oversees FEMA’s work as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery in partnership with the Democratic U.S. Representative. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Members of the Homeland Security Committee join her for the trip Nanette Baragan from California, Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas and Ritchie Torres from New York.