• The Star Staff

FEMA approves over $16 million in post-hurricane assistance

By The Star Staff

Faced with the recent weather disturbances, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), along with Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), approved over $16 million in additional grants for repairs after Hurricane Maria. The allocated funds are for the week of July 24-30 and represent 88 projects related to the recovery and reconstruction of Puerto Rico.

Among the weekly obligations is about $115,000 to the municipality of Fajardo for asphalting and the replacement of concrete ditch along several roads that provide access to about 450 residents. Some of the repairs will be carried out on C Street in the Vista Hermosa sector, on the Reyito Rivera roadway in the Paraíso neighborhood and on Igualdad Street in Barrio Quebrada, among other roads.

Also noteworthy is the allocation of over $90,000 to the municipality of Yabucoa for its Women’s Affairs Office. This allocation ensures the development and implementation of legal, social and economic equality for women and the strengthening of the family as a core institution on the island.

Projects across other parts of the island are also being considered. These include an obligation of about $14,000 for the municipality of Jayuya. The funds are intended to repair the Municipal Emergency Management office building, which represents about 16,000 residents located in zone 7 of that agency.

A portion of the obligated funds will be used to prevent future damage by implementing mitigation measures. In Fajardo, about $40,000 will be used to install a concrete curb and gutter, as well as a geotextile soil stabilization, among other actions to strengthen various roads.

Meanwhile, about $14,000 will be used in Yabucoa for the installation of an anchorage system for air conditioning units and waterproofing treatment for roofs.

In Jayuya, about $5,000 of the project is earmarked to add a second waterproof membrane to roof edges and additional anchors for air conditioners.

The most recent approved grants are broken down as follows:

* More than $7.5 million for repairs to parks and recreational facilities.

* More than $2.9 million for repairs to public buildings and equipment.

* More than $2.7 million for road and bridge repairs.

* More than $1 million for emergency protection measures.

* More than $843,000 for administrative expenses of municipalities and government agencies.

* More than $809,000 for debris removal.

* More than $142,000 for utility repairs.

FEMA works with COR3 through the federal agency’s Public Assistance program to obligate recovery funds to private nonprofit organizations, municipalities and agencies of the Puerto Rico government for expenses related to hurricanes Irma and Maria. To date, over $7 billion has been awarded to Puerto Rico as part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

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