Since Hurricane Maria first hit Puerto Rico more than a month ago, the availability of clean water has continued to be one of the most critical barriers to the relief and recovery effort. As with any flooding-related disaster, the primary concern with dirty water is the spread of microbial with diseases such as E. Coli and Cholera.
Through the Empire State Clean Water Fund, New York is pledging $1 million to support the purchase of water filtration systems for households and communities that continue lack access to clean water. Already, the state has secured commitments from partners including the Partnership for New York City, the Orthodox Union and TIDAL.
Not only will the filtration systems provide clean drinking water, but New York has already donated more than one million bottles of water to the relief effort and the restoration of the power grid will help restore power to municipal water systems and allow more people to be able to boil their water if and when necessary.
The restoration of the power grid is critical to moving recovery efforts forward. Since Hurricane Maria made landfall over a month ago, crews have only been able complete enough repairs to the grid to produce 662 or just 25 percent of the island's average monthly demand of 2685 megawatts.
New York is sending a 28-member Tactical Power Restoration Team to Puerto Rico specializing in the supervision of transmission and distribution system recovery. The team will assist ongoing efforts to address the island's power crisis.
The 28-member Tactical Power Restoration team of technical experts will deploy in early November and consists of engineers and supervisors from Con Edison/Orange & Rockland, LIPA/PSEG-Long Island, National Grid, NYSEG and RGE to work with PREPA, Puerto Rico's power utility. Workers will be dispatched in teams to seven regions in Puerto Rico to provide technical oversight in the work to restore the island's power grid. The utility workers will be complemented by an additional team of 15 contract accountants to help expedite FEMA filings and funding reimbursements.