Letter: Not the last
It has now been over five weeks since the massive hurricane destroyed much of the island of Puerto Rico. The level of assistance from our government for these American citizens in desperate need has been abysmal.
Let's start at the beginning — the storm was forecast with a high degree of certainty, so FEMA and others had time to prepare. Essentially nothing was done for the first 10 days, in spite of dire conditions.
Donald Trump has all but blamed the Puerto Rican citizens for not cleaning up the destruction themselves, for the failure of their electric system (in bad shape,) and for already being in a state of financial crisis. Then, to make matters so much worse, somebody in the trump administration decided it would be a great idea to foist the company owned by a crony of the Interior Secretary onto the Puerto Rican electric company, complete with an obscenely overpriced contract for rebuilding the system. When the rot from this banana republic type corruption finally began to stink badly enough, the contract was cancelled and now the restoration of power needs to begin again.
So now, 75 percent of the island is still without power, half with no potable water, and many remaining residents have no housing. Tens of thousands of people have left to move in with friends and relations on the mainland. The opportunity to rebuild Puerto Rico's electrical system with a modern, solar upgrade will never be financed by trump administration, even though it is the obvious and right thing to do. Many houses will need to be upgraded to face future storms, but money is not being allocated for that expense. In fact, I believe that since the island's residents are mainly Spanish speaking people, many of whom are non-white, the trump administration will try to blow the entire project off as soon as the island is out of the news.
Due to the rapid rise in ocean temperatures, these storms will not be the last.
Please don't let the people of Puerto Rico be forgotten — make sure our delegation to congress knows that we will not sit by and watch the worst ravages of climate change, these new and most deadly tropical storms, destroy this island forever.
Putney, Oct. 31
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