Hurricane Harvey was just beginning to unleash its full fury on Houston when President Trump took to Twitter to praise his new emergency management chief, Brock Long: “You are doing a great job — the world is watching!”Instapundit: YOU CAN TELL HE’S DONE A GOOD JOB BY HOW LITTLE THE PRESS IS TALKING ABOUT IT: Faced with Harvey and Irma devastation, Trump finds his footing.
To Mark Merritt, a Federal Emergency Management Agency official in the Clinton administration, the tweet seemed premature. “I was having a ‘Brownie’ flashback,” said Merritt, referring to Michael Brown, the FEMA administrator lauded by President George W. Bush for doing a “heck of a job” during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In Trump’s case, however, the social media “attaboy” proved more prescient. Facing off against a pair of historic storms — first Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, then Hurricane Irma through the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida — Trump’s administration has earned bipartisan praise for coordinating the federal response with state and local officials, avoiding the type of catastrophe that marked the Bush administration’s response to Katrina, a storm that killed more than 1,800 people. . .
Then there was yet another hurricane, and liberals rushed to find fault again.
Trump Waves Jones Act, Critics Say Too Late
President Donald Trump’s top disaster adviser defended the administration’s eight-day wait to waive restrictions under the Jones Act that limited which ships could be used to deliver relief supplies to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, despite complaints from lawmakers.Amid NFL Obsession, Media Blinds Itself to Trump’s Puerto Rico Relief Efforts
Tom Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, said the criticism is “unfounded.” Shortages of water, food, fuel and other relief supplies have been caused by distribution bottlenecks on the island rather than constraints in shipping capacity, he told reporters at a White House briefing.
Trump on Thursday ordered a waiver of the Jones Act, a 1920 maritime law requiring shipments of goods between two U.S. ports to be made with American-flagged vessels and manned by American crews. The waiver will last 10 days for shipments to Puerto Rico, though some Democrats criticized the time period as too short for the scale of the disaster.
“In this particular case we had enough capacity of U.S. flag vessels,” Bossert said. But the president took the action as a “proactive” measure after he received a request from Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello.
In the past week, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria and a bunch of millionaire NFL players took a knee during the national anthem.It's gotten so bad that if it's not tweeted, it didn't happen.
Guess which one President Donald Trump tweeted about the most? If you don’t know, the mainstream media has been more than happy to let everyone know. Trump tweeted nearly 20 times about the NFL protest but devoted only one tweet to Puerto Rico.
Monday evening, Trump began tweeting about Puerto Rico, talking about its poor infrastructure and financial problems from before the hurricane hit. Naturally, Leftists weren’t happy, and the media was again able to attack Trump for his tweets being “not well received.”
Because, apparently, the only thing Trump does is tweet.
. . .
As it turns out, it was the media ignoring Puerto Rico—not Trump.
PBS’s John Yang spoke to Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello about the help he has received from the states. Rosselo immediately said he was “very grateful for the administration” and that “they have responded quickly.”
“The president has been very attentive to the situation, personally calling me several times,” Rossello said. “FEMA and the FEMA director have been here in Puerto Rico twice. As a matter of fact, they were here with us today, making sure that all the resources in FEMA were working in conjunction with the central government.”
He asked Congress to quickly provide an aid package to the island.
Politico reported, “Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.”
FEMA: Hurricane Maria Federal Response Updates
There are thousands of federal staff, including more than 600 FEMA personnel, on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands engaged in response and recovery operations from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
U.S. Air Force Airmen load a C17 with food and water to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico and St. Croix
Commodities and Communications
Life Safety and Life Sustaining
- Officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico opened points of distribution (POD) in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for survivors to get meals, water, and other commodities. The Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands announced that locations in St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John will be open Friday.
- FEMA, working in coordination with federal partners, provided millions of meals and millions of liters of water to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Additional meals and water continue to arrive to the islands daily.
- FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center (NBEOC) is facilitating private sector requests for humanitarian relief. The NBEOC continues coordination between government and private sector organizations as the community responds to Hurricanes Maria.
- Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) communications assets and personnel continue to support the FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT), Urban Search and Rescue (US&R), National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), and other federal teams in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As of September 27, 2017, there are more than 30 MERS personnel in Puerto Rico and more than 20 MERS personnel in the USVI.
- A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) mobile communications team is in Puerto Rico to help improve communications across the storm-impacted area.
Fuel, Transportation, and Debris
- FEMA search and rescue teams have accessed 90 percent of Puerto Rico, conducting search and rescue operations and helping to assess hospitals. FEMA US&R task forces saved or assisted 843 individuals and five pets, while searching over 2,600 structures as of September 27.
- The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority drinking water system is back online, and other drinking water systems on the islands are top priority for receiving generators. Additionally, the Concordia potable water pump station is online in St. Croix.
- The U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Waste Management, and USACE are addressing potential public health risks of garbage build up; coordinating route clearance of wires and poles to enable garbage haulers to access the St. Thomas landfill.
- The National Guard Bureau (NGB) has thousands of Guard members on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands taking part in security and support operations. The Air National Guard is focused on transporting food, water, and communications capabilities as well as rapidly increasing airlift into affected areas.
- More than 180 Federal Law Enforcement Officers (FLEO) are in San Juan and the U.S. Virgin Islands supporting search and rescue, medical teams, and other federal responders, additional FLEOs are en route expected to arrive this week. Additional law enforcement support from New York State Police is on the ground in St. John.
- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has supported the restoration of services to seven of eight commercial airports in Puerto Rico. The FAA has restored full Air Traffic Control (ATC) services to Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan and limited ATC services to Rafael Hernandez Airport in Aguadilla. Recovery efforts are now supporting more than a dozen commercial passenger flights per day at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- 17 chainsaw teams (34 individuals) and one Incident Management Team (IMT) (23 individuals) from the Department of Agriculture United States Forest Service arrived in Puerto Rico Wednesday to conduct emergency road clearance and manage logistics. Nine additional teams are en route.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deployed debris experts to assist FEMA with debris management strategies in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. One of the first priorities is emergency route clearance in multiple locations to enable access to remote locations.
- USACE also completed a Blue Roof install on Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, and completed its first residential Blue Roof install on September 23. Assessments for St. Croix are ongoing. A customer service center for Blue Roof installations opened over the weekend for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- To bolster the delivery of fuel throughout Puerto Rico, 100 delivery trucks were dispatched by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) carrying an estimated 275,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- Power is restored to Centro Médico Hospital in San Juan and San Pablo Hospital in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix and the Schneider Regional Medical Center in St. Thomas are established as mobile hospitals. More than half of dialysis centers in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are open and accessible for patients. More critical care facilities will re-open in the coming days as power and access are restored.
- The U.S. Coast Guard reports the following port statuses with additional ports opening as assessments continue:
- Puerto Rico
- Open: Port of San Juan, Guayanilla, Salinas, and Talboa
- Open with restrictions: Arecibo, Fajardo, Culebra, Guayama, Mayaguez, and Vieques
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- St. Thomas: Charlotte Amalie, East Gregerie Channel, Crown Bay, West Gregerie Channel
- St. Croix: Krause Lagoon, Frederiksted, Limetree Bay
- Open with Restrictions:
- St. Thomas: Redhook Bay
- St. John: Cruz Bay
- USACE coordinated transportation of more than 300 FEMA or Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) generators from across the U.S. to meet anticipated requirements in the islands. Additional generators are arriving in the coming days.