Sep 12, 2018 - Politics & Policy

The big picture: Puerto Ricans dissatisfied with Hurricane Maria response

Shipping containers with unclaimed bottles of water in Puerto Rico.

Shipping containers with unclaimed bottles of water in Puerto Rico. Photo: Richardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rican residents believe that the response from all levels of government, including that of President Trump, has been inadequate, according to Washington Post/Kasier Family Foundation polling data.

Why it matters: Trump touted the country's response in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that slammed Puerto Rico, saying the administration did an "unappreciated great job." Puerto Rican residents see things differently — not only with Trump, but with their own local government as well.

The issue: Nearly a year after Maria rolled through Puerto Rico, residents are still reporting that basic necessities are not being fulfilled by government aid.

  • 83% report major damage to their homes, a loss of power for more than three months, and health and employment issues in the year following of the storm.
  • 93% of residents say they need more resources to repair roads and highways in their areas.

Driving the news: Aid from all levels of government has fallen through the cracks in many cases. Most recently, thousands of bottles of water were discovered having been left on a tarmac, becoming contaminated and undrinkable.

  • 80% of those surveyed viewed Trump's response to the storm unfavorably.
  • But it's not just Trump: 74% view the Puerto Rican government's response as unfavorable and 67% feel the same about Governor Ricardo Rosselló's response.

What they're saying: Residents believe that if another storm hits the island, it will be debilitating. Many also say, including Senator Ben Sasse, that it may be necessary to look at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's shortcomings to find areas of improvement in hopes of being prepared for another disaster.

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