FEMA deletes data on lack of water and electricity in Puerto RicoNew York Daily News
October 6, 2017
Key details about the availability of electricity and water in Puerto Rico as they continue to recover in the wake of Hurricane Maria have been scrubbed from the FEMA website where more positive statistics on federal response still remain.
The Federal Emergency Management site had been tracking response on the island and as of Wednesday indicated 50% of Puerto Rico had access to drinking water and 5.4% of residents had electricity, according to Wayback Machine, an internet archiving tool that preserved the [url=https://web.archive.org/web/20171003222503/https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria]page.
Thursday morning, however, the information vanished from the website while more positive details are still present.
FEMA spokesman William Booher told the Washington Post both measures are still being tracked and reported on a website updated by the office of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello.
Still available on the FEMA website are statistics noting there are now 14,000 federal staff on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U .S. Virgin Islands and that all federally operated post offices, airports and ports have been opened.
The federal website also shows that 92% of hospitals and 96% of dialysis centers there are also open – it does not note however, that most medical facilities are still running on emergency power and generators, leaving most of them without air conditioning.
What's more, roughly 65% of grocery stores have been reopened, an estimated 30 miles of roadway have been cleared and 64% of wastewater treatment plants are up and running on generators.
FEMA and President Trump recently faced back lash for its limited and slow response to the island after it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Trump fired back at critics, including the mayor of San Juan, with a day-long tirade on Twitter at the end of September.
"To the people of Puerto Rico: Do not believe the #FakeNews!" he wrote on Saturday.
"My Administration, Governor @RicardoRossello, and many others are working together to help the people of Puerto Rico in every way. #FakeNews critics are working overtime..."
According to the website maintained by Rossello's office – which is in Spanish– 9.2% of the island is with power and 54.2% have access to drinking water as of Thursday. Booher added that the statistics are also shared in media conferences and calls that occur twice daily, though did not explain why they were no longer on the FEMA page.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks his company can completely rebuild the island's electrical grid.
"The Tesla team has done this for man y smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can done for Puerto Rico too," the billionaire entrepreneur tweeted Thursday.
Rossello responded that the U.S. territory would be open to the idea, to which Musk replied Friday morning: "I would be happy to talk. Hopefully, Tesla can be helpful."