Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022, creating havoc territory-wide. With destructive rains, Hurricane Fiona was catastrophic, especially since Puerto Rico has yet to make a full recovery from Hurricane Maria—which hit the island nearly 5 years prior to Fiona. After multiple fatalities, detrimental effects on businesses and homes, and thousands of people left without electricity, Puerto Rico is struggling once again to recover.
Several days post-Fiona, Puerto Rican citizens were still facing electricity problems. Roughly a week after Hurricane Fiona had hit the US territory, approximately 1.5 million Puerto Ricans still were without power. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority announced that nearly 760,000 customers were left with no water, or were experiencing interruptions. Specifically, since many locals in Puerto Rico were without clean water, the Red Cross was called in to help Puerto Rico recover after the storm. However, according to Deanne Criswell, who is the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 90% of customers now have power, and 95% now have access to water following Fiona.
The White House recently announced that they would allocate $60 million US dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in order to prevent hurricane damage. Additionally, for 30 days, the federal government is paying for actions related to recovery efforts post-Fiona, which include emergency food and clean water, damage reconstruction, and search-and-rescue endeavors.
President Joe Biden (D) was in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona on October 3, 2022, where he visited Ponce—an area specifically hit hard by the hurricane. There, Biden and first lady Jill Biden met with Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi (NPP, D). Biden said in his speech, “we owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they’ve already gotten.” Biden also met with survivors and families affected by Hurricane Fiona and delivered food and water at a local Ponce school.