Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló warns citizens of post-hurricane dangers
(September 7, 2017 – San Juan) Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, warned that—although the National Hurricane Center discontinued the hurricane warning after Irma's passage through the local area—rain will still be recorded today, Thursday, which could lead to flooding and dangerous situations.
The National Weather Service (NWS) estimated 8 to 12 inches of rainfall in the mountainous zone of the eastern area, and up to eight inches of rain along the Rio Grande Manatí.
Five additional inches of rain are expected today—including the western part of the island—and a flood warning was issued.
The governor warned that the terrain is already saturated which can generate landslides and the saturation of tributary rivers.
It was also reported that San Juan had waves of up to 30 feet.
In a preliminary report, the director of the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management (AEMEAD, per its Spanish acronym), Abner Gómez, informed that the most affected municipalities were: Utuado, Fajardo, and Culebra.
According to additional preliminary reports, the biggest incidents that have been recorded are: trees obstructing the public road and electricity posts on the ground.
The governor—who has worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—spoke with United States President Donald Trump; Vice President Michael Pence; and with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who expressed their solidarity and support to the island during the emergency.
He also spoke with the US Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price, who was aware of the need to allocate additional staff to address the situation.
At the moment, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) reported approximately 1,093,643 customers without service for a total of 69.66%.
The Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority (PRASA) reported 221,214 clients without service for a total of 17.64%, mostly due to interruptions in the electric power service.
In the east of the Island there are 100,000 PRASA customers with service thanks to emergency generators.
According to the Puerto Rico Police, there are a total of 6,298 people and 501 pets in shelters.
The governor reminded the mayors that they must register the data of people staying in shelters to the FEMA system. This information is required for supplies and future aid.
It was also reported that a woman in Camuy died of electrocution when making contact with an electric wall socket in her house.
Another 79-year-old woman from Manatí, bedridden and in a delicate state, died in the hospital after suffering a fall while being transported to a shelter.
Yesterday afternoon, when weather conditions had already deteriorated, a man died in the hospita after suffering an accident while driving in the municipality of Canóvanas.
The Puerto Rico Department of Health reported that 42% of hospitals on the Island are operational using electric generators because of interruptions to the electric power service in their facilities.
Additionally, the coordination for the installation of a replacement electric generator for the central kitchen of Centro Médico will be done today after the approval of the application by FEMA.
The Puerto Rico Department of Health emergency management personnel has been monitoring the needs of special populations present in shelters, such as older adults, children, mental health patients, and patients with medical conditions.