This hurricane season has been one for the records. The tremendous amount of destruction and personal loss is without a doubt, one of the most devastating this country has ever seen. The wanton obliteration of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, just after Hurricane Irma, has left so many of the roads impassable that despite the literal tons of supplies arriving every day, it is difficult to get them to the people. President Trump was on the scene on Tuesday and was happy to announce that supplies are finally moving.
The maritime shipping firm Crowley has been pouring supplies into Puerto Rico at an obscene rate but coupled with the impassable roads, the lack of drivers and gasoline, it was difficult to distribute these supplies to the necessary areas. The shipping company had over 4,000 containers at its terminal in San Juan port, all filled with supplies for the island. Crowley’s vice president of communications Mark Miller illustrated exactly what the problem was. “Plenty of vessels can get to the island, but the real difficulty is getting the good to the people via trucks.” While several commercial companies stepping up, so has the federal government.Tons of supplies from every available government agency have been pouring into the country as well. FEMA, DOD and several other agencies have been delivering supplies by air, but the problem remains the same. The roads are impassable. The only current solution seems to be helicoptered to deliver the food, but that again presents another problem. Are there enough helicopters, pilots, and fuel? Meanwhile, the cargo was sitting, waiting. Meanwhile, many media outlets and Left leaning activists were using this as a way to attack the White House, but the facts are that FEMA was on the ground in the area before the devastation in anticipation and to immediately start helping, much like it was in Houston and Florida. Moreover, supplies were pouring in at the same rate as in other states but the failing infrastructure of the area, and the massive damage that was incurred, prevented much movement.
For days, nobody was able to report success in getting large amounts of supplies to where they need to be. The greatest single issue plaguing the island when these supplies were sitting and even right now is the inability to move around to distribute the goods. While helicopters may be an immediate solution, they can’t carry near the amount that a convoy of large trucks can.In a time like this, it’s easy to want to assign blame. It’s only natural to want someone to point the finger at when lives are on the line. However, maybe at this point, right now, everyone is doing the best they can and the sheer destruction is more than anyone thought or prepared for. Despite what is being said, Richard Rossello had this to say about the rapid response to the isolated island, “The President and the administration, every time we’ve asked them to execute, they’ve executed quickly. The administration has responded to our petitions. FEMA and Brock Long [FEMA Director] have been on the phone virtually all the time with me, checking out how things are going.”