Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Buildings surrounded by floodwater in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo: Ramon Espinosa / AP

Eleven days after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, essential supplies are moving slowly to remote areas and most of the island is still months away from getting power.

"This is the most logistically challenging event the United States has ever seen ... This response demands far more than what FEMA can do," FEMA director Brock Long said on Fox News Sunday, calling on the private sector to step up relief efforts. "We've got a long way to go," he said.

The state of recovery: FEMA has set up 11 regional aid centers and distributed 2 million meals and 2.5 million liters of water around the island through those outposts, but the federal agency is struggling to meet the demand for supplies for the millions who live outside the capital. Blocked roadways continue to slow the distribution of resources from the port of San Juan, and where supplies have been distributed, people are spending most of their time standing in long lines to get access.

  • 95% of the island is without power, and repairing the power grid is proving to be Puerto Rico's biggest challenge. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told ABC restoring power "has an immediate effect on [Puerto Rico's] ability to recover financially," but officials still say power lines may be down for 6 months.
  • Per Gov. Ricardo Rossello's office, 33% of the island has cell service and 47% has running water as of Saturday.
  • Long said on Fox that more than half of Puerto Rico's grocery stores and 300 pharmacies are "beginning to operate at a baseline level."
  • Rescue crews are continuing to monitor old dams, namely the Guajataca, and evacuating tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who live downstream of them, as additional rainfall weakens the hurricane-damaged infrastructure. Evacuations were ongoing as of Saturday, Long said on ABC's This Week.
  • Rossello announced on Twitter that the government is waiving rent for public housing until January 2018.
  • 10,000 Puerto Ricans remain in shelters as of Saturday.
  • 16 people have died so far as a result of Hurricane Maria, and more deaths are expected. But the death toll is considerably lower than that of other disasters of the same scale. Katrina took 1,800 lives total.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.