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Florida host-state agreement to help Puerto Ricans in need

It has been announced yesterday that President Donald Trump’s administration has approved Governor Rick Scott’s request to enter into a Host-State agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help Puerto Ricans more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria’s landfall. The agreement was signed and dated on October 5th, 2017, and approves 100 percent federal reimbursement for costs incurred by the State of Florida related to accommodating Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria, such as sheltering operations. Governor Rick Scott expressed the number one concern he has heard from Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Irma is that they need a safe place to stay so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. Scott also announced the opening of three disaster relief centers in Port of Miami, Orlando International Airport, and Miami International Airport.

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, making Maria the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the island since 1932. The storm knocked out power to the entire island, preventing many Puerto Ricans in San Juan and around the island from accessing crucial clean water. It is unclear yet how many Puerto Ricans will decide to take up the Governor on his offer, but some estimates have already been made and run as high as 100,000 over the upcoming weeks and months. It is also a guessing game right now on how many will go back to Puerto Rico once the island is back to normal and the repairs to their electrical grid and infrastructure are completed.