FEMA awards $69 million to PREPA for post-Fiona emergency measures
By The Star Staff
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced Thursday that it has awarded over $68.5 million to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) for emergency protective measures taken after Hurricane Fiona.
Following the impact of Fiona last September, PREPA activated supplemental peaking units, which help to increase energy production across Puerto Rico, thereby reducing blackouts in municipalities affected by the disaster. PREPA’s immediate action led to increased energy production and helped protect residents from the impacts of the storm, the federal agency said in a statement.
“To have a reliable and resilient electrical system is a top priority for Puerto Rico, particularly for our state government as well as federal entities. For that reason, before, during and after hurricane Fiona, we have taken prompt and direct actions to make this happen,” said Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, who has met with President Biden, multiple cabinet members and the FEMA administration. “Once again, I thank the Biden administration for promptly addressing our needs, and FEMA who, together with COR3 [the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency] and PREPA, have been working toward the same goal: the well being of our citizens and the reconstruction of Puerto Rico.”
Meanwhile, FEMA’s federal coordinating officer, Nancy Casper, said that “when disaster strikes, it is our foremost priority to ensure the government of Puerto Rico has the tools necessary to respond.”
“This includes ensuring there is a dependable power source that will sustain critical, lifesaving and life-sustaining facilities,” she said. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners at PREPA and COR3, FEMA is able to award this funding swiftly and help ensure Puerto Rico continues to have the resources they need.”
FEMA’s Public Assistance Program provides funding to local government jurisdictions and eligible private nonprofits for the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged infrastructure as well as costs incurred for emergency actions taken to protect lives and property. This $68.5 million award will provide additional resources to the local government and adds to the $670.5 million in federal funding that has been obligated to support communities, government and private nonprofit entities as they recover from Hurricane Fiona.