Puerto Rico and Florida officials push for more FEMA funding

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Hurricane Irma is here and making it is presence known.

Brushing just off the coast of Puerto Rico, the island dodging the eye of the storm, but still more than a million people are with out power, 15 percent of the population without water, and more than 7,000 living in shelters.

“You cannot avoid a hurricane but you can avoid a death," Carlos Mercader, Executive Director at the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration said.

Brushing just off the coast of Puerto Rico, the island dodging the eye of the storm, but still more than a million people are with out power, 15 percent of the population without water, and more than 7,000 living in shelters.

Mercedo said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is just beginning to survey the damage. But after the costly affects of Harvey, he’s already working with Congress on additional funding for the island.

“Trying to create awareness about the impact that Irma was going to have in Puerto Rico and in the region and the need for them to address a additional increase to that disaster recovery fund," he added.

Mercado says all of the hospitals and health facilities are up and running right now. He said overall Puerto Rico was extremely well prepared for the storm. That was his biggest piece of advice for Florida who is next on Irma’s path.

“This well could be another Andrew," Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) said.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson said he’s been in the state the past few days but returned to Congress to pass an emergency funding package. FEMA runs out of money- Friday. He’s worried his state won’t get the help they need.

“They’re trying to flee the hurricane, they’re obeying the evacuation orders but they’re running out of gas, they’re running out of gas, on the interstate on the roads," he added.

Nelson said he asked FEMA to get more gasoline supplies into the state to get people out of the path of the hurricane.

He also said he’s asking his fellow senators to include funding for Irma in the Harvey package. Some not all the funding Nelson wanted was included in the package passed Thursday.



 
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