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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senator seeks inventory of first-responder facilities in flood zones

Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera

By The Star Staff

After visiting Police Bureau headquarters in Comerío, at-large Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera reported the filing of a resolution focused on developing an inventory of police barracks, fire stations and/or emergency management centers that are located in flood zones.

“Last Friday we visited the facilities of the police barracks in the municipality of Comerío to evaluate the structure and dialogue with the law enforcement agents who work there in order to know their needs and attend to them with haste,” the New Progressive Party senator said. “One of the first things we observed was that the barracks is located in a flood zone and that is very dangerous in case of the impact of a major storm. That is why we are going to file a resolution this week to investigate this situation as a matter of urgency, not only in this important municipality but throughout the island.”

Riquelme Cabrera emphasized that the current administration has developed programs to rehabilitate and modernize barracks throughout Puerto Rico, something that has not happened since the 1990s.

“There is a reality and that is that many barracks, and stations of the firefighters and emergency management bureaus are located in flood areas,” she said. “The objective of the resolution is to identify each facility of these three important services in the event of a storm or natural disaster, make a record of them and develop programs to locate them in other places that do not represent a flood hazard and at the same time can provide the same service to the citizens that they always offer.”

“On several occasions, these barracks have had to be evacuated, as happened in July 2020 when the La Plata River flooded its banks,” the senator said. “Our resolution also orders an economic feasibility study, just as it orders the Public Buildings Authority to make a report on properties under its name that can be used as barracks and stations, in cases that merit relocation.”

Riquelme held a working meeting with Lt. José David Colón, as well as with several other members of the Police Bureau stationed in the central island municipality, to discuss the problems that concern them, including the location of the town’s main barracks.

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