Governor declares flood state of emergency in 15 towns
By John McPhaul
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia signed an executive order on Tuesday to declare a state of emergency in 15 municipalities hard hit by flash floods from a trough that dumped record volumes of rain on the island last weekend.
The executive order (OE by its Spanish initials) includes San Juan, Guaynabo, Cataño, Dorado, Toa Baja, Toa Alta, Vega Baja, Vega Alta, Naranjito, Aguas Buenas, Patillas, Humacao, Bayamón, Naguabo and Trujillo Alto. Similarly, in the OE the governor also authorizes Public Safety (DPS) Secretary Alexis Torres to include as part of the emergency declaration any other municipality that he deems necessary.
“With this emergency declaration, the General Services Administration, agencies and municipalities can activate special purchasing procedures to acquire essential materials and services to respond to the emergency. The DPS will prepare and present to the governor, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority of Puerto Rico an estimate of the funds required to carry out relocations, rescue, response and recovery of the affected regions,” the executive order states. “The foregoing will include those expenses incurred to date and those that will be incurred to carry out the aforementioned tasks.”
The governor noted that the Financial Supervision and Administration Board approved his request to make the Emergency Fund available based on the estimate presented by the DPS. Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés Alicea and OMB Director Juan Carlos Blanco will allocate the available funds to the agencies and municipalities that they identify to comply with the order’s provisions.