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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

FEMA obligates over $8.1 million for post-Fiona road repair in 6 towns

By The Star Staff

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has obligated more than $8.1 million to repair roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Fiona in Humacao, Jayuya, Las Piedras, Mayagüez, Patillas and Yauco.

Among the permanent projects are the Los Pilones Highway in Mayagüez and Gladys Bridge, in the Guardarraya neighborhood of Patillas, which have completed their construction.

“It’s been almost eight months since Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico last year. Since then, our government, through the Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience of Puerto Rico (COR3), has worked very hard with FEMA and this important funding obligation is proof of the productive coordination we have,” Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said in a written statement. “The reconstruction of Puerto Rico is underway and this time these efforts benefit our people in those municipalities. We continue to work alongside FEMA and our mayors because our actions speak louder than words.”

FEMA Federal Coordinator DuWayne Tewes added that “the residents of Patillas and Mayagüez will see the result of teamwork between FEMA and COR3.”

“Damaged roads that are unsafe to travel will now be repaired, giving us a hint of what recovery will look like as federal funds are committed and transformed into permanent works,” he said.

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides applicants with federal grants for permanent works through reimbursement. When FEMA obligates funds for these projects, it means that the resources are committed, but have not yet been disbursed to the applicant. COR3 disburses the money to applicants when 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 rainfall. About $300,000 was obligated to Humacao, more than $3.5 million to Jayuya, about $1.4 million to Las Piedras, about $400,000 to Mayagüez, more than $2 million to Patillas and more than $621,000 to Yauco.

To date, FEMA has allocated nearly $165 million in public assistance for the recovery effort followingHurricane Fiona, including nearly $12 million for permanent works.

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