San Juan, Puerto Rico — Over $8.1 million were obligated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair roads and bridges damaged by Fiona in Humacao, Jayuya, Las Piedras, Mayagüez, Patillas and Yauco. Among the permanent projects are the Los Pilones Road in Mayagüez and Puente Gladys, in Barrio Guardarraya, Patillas that have completed their construction.
“Almost eight months have passed since Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico last year. Since then, our government, through the Puerto Rico Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), has been working really hard with FEMA and this significant funding obligation is proof of the productive coordination we have. The reconstruction of Puerto Rico is underway and on this occasion these efforts will benefit our people in those municipalities. We will continue working together with FEMA and our mayors because our actions speak louder than words” said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi.
Meanwhile, the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer, DuWayne Tewes said that “The collaboration between FEMA and COR3 is already having an impact on Patillas and Mayagüez residents. Roads that were washed out and unsafe to travel are repaired, providing an indication of the future recovery as federal funds are obligated and transformed into permanent work”.
The FEMA Public Assistance program provides applicants with federal grants for permanent work through reimbursement. When FEMA obligates funds for these projects, it means that resources are committed, but have not yet been disbursed to the applicant. COR3 disburses money to applicants when the project requirements have been reviewed and approved.
When Category C funds are used to repair roads, bridges and infrastructure such as culverts and drainage pipes, roads and land are protected from erosion and the impact of heavy rains. Nearly $300,000 were obligated to Humacao, more than $3.5 million to Jayuya, nearly $1.4 million to Las Piedras, nearly $400,000 to Mayagüez, nearly $2 million to Patillas and more than $621,000 to Yauco.
To date, FEMA has awarded nearly $165 million in Public Assistance for Hurricane Fiona, including over $12 million for permanent work.
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