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Hurricane Fiona Recovery Process on a Firm Pace

San Juan, Puerto Rico — The recovery process from Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico continues at an unwavering tempo with over $563 million in FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program funds to address emergency and permanent projects for damaged infrastructure in the Island. In December 2023 alone, FEMA approved 174 obligations, from which nine (9) were large projects totaling nearly $20 million for recovery work such as debris removal, and repair of roads and bridges affected by this hurricane.

“Puerto Rico’s recovery continues at a solid pace. This is possible because of the collaborative work with FEMA. A great example is that, just 15 months after Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico, over $1.2 billion in direct disaster assistance have already been approved and over $563 million have been authorized for permanent construction projects, including several large ones for more than $20 million. The Government of Puerto Rico has a strong commitment with our citizens and, working with FEMA, we will continue advancing the reconstruction work all over the Island” said the Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro R. Pierluisi.

To date, the municipality of Coamo is the recipient of the largest project award with close to $10 million, to remove and replace a sloped earthen embankment and other components to rebuild a low water crossing road in Barrio Pasto. Also, the municipality of Naranjito received an obligation of more than $4.7 million for repairs to a road in the Camino Las Pelusas, Barrio Cedro Abajo.

“The approval of nine large projects during the most festive months of the year, where many people tend to be on leave, demonstrates our commitment to Puerto Rico’s recovery, that will continue throughout 2024,” said Robert Little, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer for Hurricane Fiona.

FEMA defines as large projects, those recovery works under the Public Assistance program which require funds that equal or exceed a $1 million in federal cost-share. The PA program provides funding to the government of Puerto Rico, municipalities, and eligible private non-profits organizations to repair, replace, or restore disaster-damaged infrastructure, as well as costs incurred for emergency actions taken to protect lives and property. To date, FEMA has approved 50 large permanent works projects, with a total cost of nearly $118 million for permanent works.

Along with the Government of Puerto Rico, FEMA evaluates and identifies opportunities to address and reduce potential future damages through FEMA’s PA Hazard Mitigation Program. To date, FEMA has approved nearly $74 million additional funds for mitigation measures. 

2024 shows promise, with the first project under these criteria already obligated for more than $2.7 million, including nearly $268,000 in hazard mitigation costs in Los Verdes Sector in Adjuntas. Following this, the municipality of Barranquitas received an obligation of more than $4.6 million to fund the repair roads and bridges in Camino Emilio Avilés and Camino Otilio Colón. These accomplishments have been possible thanks to the continuous collaboration between FEMA, the government of Puerto Rico, municipalities, and certain non-profits organizations to ensure the island’s full recovery from Hurricane Fiona.  

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