Trump provided no evidence to support his claims. [190] A December 17 report indicated that 600 people remained in shelters while 130,000 had left the island to go to the mainland. The islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique endured widespread flooding, damaged roofs, and uprooted trees. [7] By September 25, it passed over cooler sea surface temperatures that had been left behind by Hurricane Jose a week prior, causing its inner core to collapse and the structure of the storm to change significantly. [213] January 2019 has also seen a $600 million cut in food aid to Puerto Rico by the Trump Administration. The storm knocked out power to 800 Duke Energy Progress customers in the Havelock area, with restoration of power expected to take several hours. [61] Water service was cut to 50,000 customers, especially in the communes of Le Morne-Rouge and Gros-Morne. [165] By September 28, 44 percent of the population remained without drinking water and the U.S. military was shifting from "a short term, sea-based response to a predominantly land-based effort designed to provide robust, longer term support" with fuel delivery a top priority. Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 people, not 64. It did not ask us to be paid soon or a guarantee to pay". Almost two years after Maria, shelters remained operational as many homes still lacked significant roofing. A couple of days later, Comfort departed on an around the island tour to assist, remaining a dozen miles off shore. [74] The air control towers and terminal buildings of the Canefield and Douglas Charles airports were severely damaged, although the runways remained relatively intact and open to emergency landings. [48] The Hewanorra and George F. L. Charles airports of Saint Lucia respectively recorded 4.33 in (110 mm) and 3.1 in (80 mm) of rain, though even higher quantities fell elsewhere on the island. [223] Utilizing a similar method, The New York Times indicated an increase of 1,052 fatalities in the 42 days following Maria compared to previous years. The water reportedly pushed many bodies out to sea, and others remain in a marked mass grave near Grand Isle, La. It took almost a year for peer to be restored to most residents. Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September 2017 and soon after, the government of Puerto Rico determined that 64 people had died. FEMA rejected their claims", "Trump White House stonewalls as Puerto Rico aid runs dry", "Puerto Rico's leaders slam Trump administration for opposing food assistance funding", "Ascertainment of the Estimated Excess Mortality from Hurricane María in Puerto Rico", "Puerto Rico governor raises Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to 2,975", "Everything that's been reported about deaths in Puerto Rico is at odds with the official count", "Puerto Rico reports increase in overall deaths after storm", "We surveyed 112 Puerto Rican funeral homes to check the accuracy of the hurricane death toll. Sustained winds at the Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge on St. Croix reached 99 to 104 mph (159 to 167 km/h) and gusted to 137 mph (220 km/h). Guesstimating the Toll of Hurricane Maria By Robert VerBruggen. [148] The Air Force assisted the Federal Aviation Administration with air traffic control repairs to increase throughput capacity. [205], As a consequence of the hurricane, a population drop of approximately 14% was forecasted, due to an exodus to the mainland United States, according to a research study conducted by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies of Hunter College. On October 11, 2017, Vox reported 81 deaths directly or indirectly related to the hurricane, with another 450 deaths awaiting investigation. [74] Its ferocious winds defoliated nearly all vegetation, splintering or uprooting thousands of trees and decimating the island's lush rainforests. [60] Even greater quantities fell at higher elevations of Basse Terre Island, with a maximum total of 18.07 in (459 mm) measured at the mountainous locality of Matouba, Saint-Claude. Though Maria caused catastrophic damage, the response was slower in quantitative terms. The United States Coast Guard, United States Navy, and British Royal Navy conducted search-and-rescue operations utilizing an HC-130 aircraft, a fast response cutter, USS Kearsarge, RFA Mounts Bay and Navy helicopters. [153] Federal aid arrived on September 25 with the reopening of major ports. [196][197] Small IV bags often come pre-filled with saline or common drugs in solution, and have forced health care providers to scramble behind the scenes for alternative methods of drug delivery. [37], Hurricane Maria's center passed 250 km (160 mi) from Haiti's northern coast, but triggered a large amount of rain and some flooding in Haiti. [148] The logistics support ship SS Wright (T-AVB-3) was mobilized on September 22 to support relief operations delivering 1.3 million MREs and one million liters of fresh water. Carmen Yulín Cruz says there have been double the number of cremations than normal Embedded in the westerlies, Maria accelerated toward the east and later east-northeast over the open Atlantic, becoming extratropical on September 30 and dissipating by October 2. U.S territory • Puerto Rico • Death toll controversy [3] The official estimate of 2,975 is based on a study commissioned by the governor of Puerto Rico,[3] where researchers at George Washington University developed statistical models of excess mortality attributable to Maria, including both direct and indirect fatalities. [175] The idea would be to supplement the existing electrical grid with power from solar and wind farms. [96] The eyewall replacement cycle that caused María to weaken to Category 4 strength also caused the eye to triple in size as the diameter expanded 9–28 nmi (10–32 mi) prior to landfall. [272], "Siguiendo La Trayectoria del Huracán María Sobre Puerto Rico" (426 pages; Spanish), by Gilberto Rivera Santiago ISBN 9781725930957, This article is about the Atlantic hurricane of 2017. [28], Evacuation orders were issued in Puerto Rico in advance of Maria, and officials announced that 450 shelters would open in the afternoon of September 18. FEMA reported 60,000 homes needed roofing help, and had distributed 38,000 roofing tarps. [189] Ports and commercial flights were back to normal operations, but 7.6% of USPS locations, 11.5% of supermarkets, and 21.4% of gas stations were still closed. Nearly nine months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, nobody knows how many people died because of it. The winds stripped the public library of its roof panels and demolished all but one wall of the Baptist church. Total losses from the hurricane are estimated at upwards of $91.61 billion (2017 USD), mostly in Puerto Rico, ranking it as the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record. More: Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 people, not 64. That’s nearly the population of the entire town — which had a post office, school, shrimp cannery and resort hotel, according to NOLA.com. [85] Aside from wind-related effects, rainfall from Maria was also significant. [7] Gradual organization occurred as it progressed westward across the tropical Atlantic under the influence of a mid-level ridge that was located to the system's north,[8][9] and by 12:00 UTC on September 16, it had developed into Tropical Depression Fifteen, as deep convection consolidated and developed into curved bands wrapping into an increasingly-defined center of circulation. FEMA's relief efforts in Puerto Rico post-Maria engaged a smaller work force and budget than the agency's efforts in Texas and Florida, in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively. The historic flooding topped levees, burying New Orleans and displacing hundreds of thousands of Southerners. [115][116], Hurricane Maria greatly affected Puerto Rico's agriculture. [149][150][151][152] By September 24, there were thirteen United States Coast Guard ships deployed around Puerto Rico assisting in the relief and restoration efforts: the National Security Cutter USCGC James; the medium endurance cutters USCGC Diligence, USCGC Forward, USCGC Venturous, and USCGC Valiant; the fast response cutters USCGC Donald Horsley, USCGC Heriberto Hernandez, USCGC Joseph Napier, USCGC Richard Dixon, and USCGC Winslow W. Griesser; the coastal patrol boat USCGC Yellowfin; and the seagoing buoy tenders USCGC Cypress and USCGC Elm. You know, or divest of that asset?" As time went by it did not go up by much. An estimated 2,975 people died in Puerto Rico in the five months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September, a far higher number than the government's official death toll count of … [98][103][104] Governor Rosselló stated that it could take months to restore power in some locations,[105] with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz estimating that some areas would remain without power for four to six months. Only 392 miles of Puerto Rico's 5,073 miles of road were open. Puerto Rico's true death toll from Hurricane Maria remains elusive as the storm's one-year anniversary approaches. [264] The company contracted more than 300 personnel, most of them subcontractors, and sent them to the island to carry out work. That count is over 70 times higher than what the Puerto Rican government reported at 64 deaths. The new death toll has refocused complaints that federal authorities have not done enough to help struggling Puerto Ricans. [72][73] The hurricane also inflicted extensive damage to roads and public buildings, such as schools, stores and churches,[73] and affected all of Dominica's 73,000 residents in some form or way. [55] High winds triggered an island-wide power outage and downed a coconut tree onto a residence in Saint Joseph. [166] A joint Army National Guard and Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) team established an Installation Staging Base at the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station; they transported via helicopter Department of Health and Human Services assessment teams to hospitals across Puerto Rico to determine medical requirements. [44] A third person had a fatal heart attack during the hurricane. EffectsLesser Antilles • Dominica [188] On October 20, only 18.5% of the island had electricity, 49.1% of cell towers were working, and 69.5% of customers had running water, with the slowest restoration in the north. Meanwhile, the driving force of the economy—tourism—was expected to be scarce in the months that followed Maria. [143] Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate the area, with about 70,000 thought to be at risk. [196], By the end of January 2018, approximately 450,000 customers remained without power island-wide. [167] By September 30, FEMA official Alejandro de la Campa stated that 5% of electricity, 33% of the telecommunications infrastructure, and 50% of water services had been restored to the island. [103] Eighty-five percent of above-ground phone and internet cables were knocked out. The value only accounted for reported deaths, and with limitations to communication, the actual toll could have been even higher. Martin's foundation had raised over three million dollars by October 13, 2017. "[251] In an update on October 19, the agency called the situation in Puerto Rico "unacceptable" and called for "a more robust and efficient response from the US government". [265] No requests for assistance had been made to the American Public Power Association by October 24. [211] About 60% of households that applied for FEMA assistance have been rejected, primarily for lack of proof of ownership. Nearly 5,000 people died as a result of Hurricane Maria last September, according to a new report by the New England Journal of Medicine. [163] Massive amounts of water, food, and fuel either had been delivered to ports in Puerto Rico or were held up at ports in the mainland United States because there was a lack of truck drivers to move the goods into the interior; the lack of communication networks hindered the effort as only 20% of drivers reported to work. The NRDC reported that seventy percent of the island had water that did not meet the standards of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act. Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico raises official death toll from 64 to 2,975 This article is more than 2 years old New estimate is based on the finding that the number of … For other storms of the same name, see, Hurricane Maria at peak intensity to the southeast of. [40], Rainfall ahead of the hurricane caused several landslides in Dominica, as water levels across the island began to rise by the afternoon of September 18. When President Donald Trump visited Puerto Rico on October 3, he praised Hurricane Maria's relatively low death toll -- then 16. Investigations iton the hurricane's aftermath suggested a wide variety of possible death tolls. [21] The government of Antigua and Barbuda issued Hurricane watches for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat by the time of the NHC's second advisory which declared Maria a tropical storm. Assessments on September 22 indicated that 110 homes were destroyed, 570 were damaged, and 3,723 were affected by flooding. [112], The former survey ship Ferrel, carrying a family of four, issued a distress signal while battling 20-foot seas (6.1 m) and 115 mph winds (185 km/h) on September 20. The island continues to recover, but efforts have been delayed by its problematic power grid, and electricity has not been restored to all of the island nearly nine months after the storm. Puerto Rican travelers often chose to go to Orlando, Miami, New York City, and Atlanta. [36] Infrastructural damage amounted to RD$3 billion (US$63 million). [94] A sustained wind of 64 mph (103 km/h) with a gust to 113 mph (182 km/h) was reported in San Juan, immediately prior to the hurricane making landfall on the island. [134], On September 26, 2017, 95% of the island was without power, less than half the population had tap water, and 95% of the island had no cell phone service. Throughout Saint Patrick Parish, the extreme winds ripped through roofs and scorched the vegetation. [6], Maria originated from a tropical wave that left the western coast of Africa on September 12. JUST WATCHED During an October visit to the island, Trump said Hurricane Maria wasn’t a “real catastrophe” like Hurricane Katrina, which left over 1,800 dead. [32] Rip currents from Maria caused three swimmers to drown and several others to be rescued at the Jersey Shore on the weekend of September 23–24. Weather stations on St. Croix recorded 10and 20 inches of rain from the hurricane, and estimates for St. John and St. Thomas were somewhat less. [92], The storm made landfall on Puerto Rico on Wednesday, September 20, near the Yabucoa municipality at 10:15 UTC (6:15 a.m. local time) as a high-end Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). PREPA says there's an "event" of the 50900 line which runs north to south Previous failures of this line have affected most of the 1,473,000 customers", "Puerto Rico suffers island-wide power outage", "No Title, No Lease, No Assistance to Rebuild", "Hurricane Maria Exposes a Common Problem for Puerto Rico Homeowners: No Insurance - Only about half of houses on the island are covered by policies that protect against wind damage", "Puerto Rico population to drop 14% after hurricane", "FEMA Emptied Its Puerto Rico Warehouse Just Before Maria Struck", "How Is FEMA Preparing For Hurricane Season In Puerto Rico? [237] Three months after Maria, about half the entire U.S. territory still had no power, and 25% of the U.S. territory had no cell service. Puerto Rico also suffered catastrophic damage and a major humanitarian crisis; most of the island's population suffered from flooding and a lack of resources, compounded by the slow relief process. [195] This caused a months long shortage in medical supplies in the United States, especially of IV bags. Survivors indicate that flood waters rose at least 6 ft (1.8 m) in 30 minutes, with flood waters reaching a depth of 15 feet (4.6 m) in some areas. [60] By September 19, Maria had knocked out power to 70,000 households, about 40% of the population. Calculation from provided monthly statistics. A state of emergency was declared by officials in Dare and Hyde counties, while visitors were ordered to evacuate Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. [148] The United States Air Force Air Mobility Command has dedicated eight C-17 Globemaster aircraft to deliver relief supplies. [82] The strongest winds blew along the southern coastlines of Basse-Terre Island: Gourbeyre observed a peak wind speed of 101 mph (162 km/h), while winds up north in nearby Baillif reached 92 mph (148 km/h). [264] Several representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, also voiced their concern over the choice to contract Whitefish instead of other companies. [210], As of January 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development had allocated nearly $20 billion in grants to aid Puerto Rico's reconstruction. Nope", "Puerto Rico governor orders recount of hurricane death toll", "Puerto Rico Releases Data On Hundreds Of Deaths Following Hurricane Maria", "Lawsuits reveal data showing higher death count in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria", "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. [172], With centralized fossil-fuel-based power plants and grid infrastructure expected to be out of commission for weeks to months, some renewable energy projects were in the works, including the shipment of hundreds of Tesla Powerwall battery systems to be integrated with solar PV systems[173] and Sonnen solar microgrid projects at 15 emergency community centers; the first were expected to be completed in October. [214][215]'[dubious – discuss], The deaths of 64 people were initially directly attributed to the hurricane by the government of Puerto Rico.[218]. [110][111], The nearby island of Vieques suffered similarly extensive damage. Death certification process . [131] Governor Ricardo Rosselló estimated that Maria caused at least US$ 90 billion in damage[132][133] and in 2018 the US National Hurricane Center updated its list of costliest hurricanes to include that figure. At the time, Puerto Rico’s official death toll for Hurricane Maria was 16. [191], Three months after the hurricane, 45% of Puerto Ricans still had no power, over 1.5 million people. A charity called Light Up Puerto Rico raised money to both purchase and deliver solar products, including solar panels, on Oct. [50] Several districts experienced localized blackouts due to downed or damaged power lines. [209] A year later, repairs to homes were not completed, schools were shuttered, and residents were suffering from depression. "Oxfam rarely responds to humanitarian emergencies in the US and other wealthy countries, but as the situation in Puerto Rico worsens and the federal government's response continues to falter, we have decided to step in. [207] FEMA has added three new warehouses on Puerto Rico, and pre-positioned emergency power generators at hospitals and water pump stations. Winds of 23 mph (37 km/h) and gusts of 41 mph (66 km/h) were reported at Dare County Regional Airport at Manteo on September 27, while winds of 40 mph (64 km/h) were reported in Duck, North Carolina. [7][10], Maria gradually strengthened, and by late on September 17, although the center had temporarily become exposed, a convective burst over the center enabled it to become a hurricane. 19. [162], On September 27, the Pentagon reopened two major airfields on Puerto Rico and started sending aircraft, specialized units, and a hospital ship to assist in the relief effort; Brigadier General Richard C. Kim, the deputy commanding general of United States Army North, was responsible for coordinating operations between the military, FEMA and other government agencies, and the private sector. [58][62] Numerous roads and streets, especially along the northern coast, were impassible due to rock slides, fallen trees and toppled power poles. After landfall, wind gusts of 109 mph (175 km/h) were reported at Yabucoa Harbor and 118 mph (190 km/h) at Camp Santiago. Hurricane Maria death toll 'much higher than officially reported', mayor in Puerto Rico says. Puerto Rico Faces Stark Power Grid Options - The island wants to upgrade its infrastructure, but must first wait for the lights to come back on", "More solar panels mean more waste and there's no easy solution - It's going to be a major problem by 2050", "Engineer Visits Recent Natural Disaster Sites for Insight on Infrastructure Improvements", "Puerto Rico Wind - Solar - Cellular Structures Destroyed - Aerial", "Jennifer Aniston has donated $1 million to Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Maria relief", "U.S. mail carriers emerge as heroes in Puerto Rico recovery", USA Today: "Carnival to resume sailings from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday" by Gene Sloan, "Desperate Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site", "Trump hints at ending aid as Puerto Ricans forced to drink polluted water", "Expert: Water from a polluted Puerto Rico site 'safe to drink, CNN: "San Juan mayor slams Trump over tweets: He's a 'hater-in-chief'" By Leinz Vales, "Report slams local, US hurricane response in Puerto Rico", "Three Months After Maria, Roughly Half of Puerto Ricans Still Without Power", "Leading Homeland Security Under a President Who Embraces 'Hate-Filled' Talk", https://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FDAInBrief/UCM584030.pdf, "U.S. More than 18 inches of rain fell in less than a day, flooding Lake Okeechobee. [71], The next morning, the first aerial footage of Dominica elucidated the scope of the destruction. [89] Damage was most extensive in the town of Frederiksted,[citation needed] on the west end of St. Croix, as well as along the southern shoreline, leaving 3 dead. Research project seeks more accurate Hurricane Maria death toll data in Puerto Rico. ", "Puerto Ricans Concerned That $20 Billion Recovery Plan Is 'Not For The People, "FEMA Has Rejected 60 Percent of Assistance Requests in Puerto Rico. This is an event without precedent. [74] The disaster affected all of the island's 53 health facilities, including the badly damaged primary hospital, compromising the safety of many patients. [citation needed], Through the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, Dominica received approximately US$19.2 million in emergency funds. President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in the U.S. Virgin Islands one day after Maria hit. OK, so we have some food and water—but how long for? 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