The disaster of Puerto Rico has passed from the media spotlight, which is a rather grim commentary on the shabby quality of American media, and the abject failure of FEMA to help what amounts to colonial America. It’s just disgraceful.
But there is a second reason for staying in touch with this story. Climate change is going to increasingly disrupt American coastal areas, and central states. What has happened in Puerto Rico in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria, may be telling us something about how the federal government, and agencies such as FEMA will be handling a crisis that happens in your area.
To me it increasingly looks like under the Trump administration how many electoral votes an area has is the determinative factor in what kind of help they will get.
The hurricane made landfall Sept. 20, ripping through the island’s shaky infrastructure. The electrical system has been partially resuscitated, helped by mega-generators imported by the Army Corps of Engineers, but as of Monday, less than half — 46.6 percent — of Puerto Rico had power.
Getting the island back up to full power has proved daunting,stumping a recovery that can’t get going without electricity up and running.
Telecommunications is still operating at about 75 percent capacity and cellphone service at 65 percent, and one-in-10 Puerto Ricans still lack potable water.
On Monday, former President Bill Clinton was visiting the island on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, which has said it’s partnering with solar groups to return electricity to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which also has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Carmen Yulín …