More than $700,000 Approved to Puerto Rico for Infrastructure Damage

January 23, 2006

Disaster recovery officials reported that $704,307.87 has been approved to reimburse the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for infrastructure damages resulting from the storms, flooding and landslides which occurred in Puerto Rico from Oct. 9-15, 2005.

President Bush issued a major disaster declaration on Nov. 10, 2005 in response to the damages and losses suffered in municipalities, Commonwealth agencies, and eligible private non-profit organizations making them eligible to apply for federal disaster aid funds under FEMA’s Public Assistance (Infrastructure) program.

“Ensuring that vital community services are restored as quickly as possible is part of our continuing commitment to help the affected agencies and municipalities in Puerto Rico achieve a full and lasting recovery,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Justo Hernández. “Commonwealth and federal teams continue working jointly to make that possible.”

The municipalities of Adjuntas, Aibonito, Cayey, Guayanilla, Jayuya, Juana Diaz, Lares, Maricao, Orocovis, Peñuelas, Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel, Utuado, Villalba, Yabucoa and Yauco were included in the presidential disaster declaration. In addition, thirteen (13) state agencies and one (1) private non-profit organization has been eligible for federal aid under the Public Assistance (PA) program.

The PA program provides a 75 percent federal reimbursement of the approved costs incurred in emergency work related to the disaster, such as protective measures, debris removal, and the repair, replacement or restoration of flood-damaged public facilities, such as roads and bridges, buildings, parks, water control facilities and utilities.

This aid is made available following damage assessments performed by federal and Commonwealth disaster recovery officials. The requests for infrastructure disaster aid are processed as soon as the projects and supporting documentation are submitted to FEMA for evaluation and final determination.

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