No Solutions to Prevent Blockages in Irrigation Channels During Severe Floods in Puerto Rico

Communities around the irrigation channels, whose conditions worsened due to the flooding caused by Hurricane Fiona, will continue to be at risk because there are no immediate solutions to prevent obstructions during extraordinary rainfall events, experts and the government of Puerto Rico told the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI, in Spanish). Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) set aside $62 million in Hurricane María recovery funds for permanent work projects for this network of irrigation channels, the process is still in the design stage, one of the steps required by the federal agency to allocate the funds and, eventually, disburse them. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) submitted three permanent works projects to FEMA in October 2021 for the three irrigation districts it manages in Patillas in the South, Isabela in the North and Lajas in the southwestern coast. These structures belonged to the former Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority (PRWRA), created in 1941 to manage the reservoirs used for electricity generation. Irrigation channels are part of that system and now provide water for agriculture in those areas.

Hurricane Shelters Without Water and Electricity Don’t Comply With the Law

Hurricane Fiona’s first gusts were barely blowing when dozens of mayors had to improvise solutions. When they arrived at the locations that the government of Puerto Rico certified as shelters, they found they had no water tanks or power generators. At that time, a copy of Act 88 sat on a desk.

Comisión de Derechos Civiles federal confirma trato discriminatorio de FEMA contra Puerto Rico tras María 

Los residentes de Puerto Rico quedaron en un evidente rezago en la cantidad de fondos asignados y el tiempo en recibirlos, concluye un informe de la Comisión de Derechos Civiles de Estados Unidos al evaluar los esfuerzos de socorro y respuesta a los huracanes Harvey en Texas y María en Puerto Rico en el 2017.