3,000 dead, but Trump hails Hurricane Maria response as ‘unsung success’

Lamar Ellis
September 13, 2018

A vast shipment of water bottles that were meant to be delivered to victims of 2017's destructive Hurricane Maria appear to be still sitting, unused one year later, on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

About 20,000 pallets of water bottles shipped to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island previous year went unused and eventually became too contaminated to drink, officials from the US territory said on Wednesday.

The administration's efforts in Puerto Rico were widely criticized as slow and insufficient. But are we? And does Trump have any room to talk now that Puerto Rico has revised its death toll from Hurricane Maria to around 3,000?

The governor of Puerto Rico recently revised the death toll as a result of that storm from 64 to 2,975, and many residents were without power for months. The boxes, Santana said, were delivered before Maria's arrival.

As far as Trump's response is concerned, the most lasting image of his involvement with Hurricane Maria will be the time he visited Puerto Rico and threw rolls of paper towels to survivors.

He also said he was still waiting for Trump to respond to a petition to help Puerto Rico complete work on emergency housing restoration programs and debris removal.

The storm, which devastated the territory last September, is also estimated to have caused $100 billion in damage.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told CBS News that the water was distributed to the central government of Puerto Rico as part of hurricane relief efforts a year ago.

"Nobody is singing his praises because we all saw what happened", San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told The Associated Press.

While defending the handling of the previous storm, he urged caution in regards to the new one bearing down on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. "We are sparing no expense". With Eli Sanders on vacation, Rich Smith asks Dan Savage and Katie Herzog to tell us how prepared we really are, and to speculate about whether we'll ever be prepped enough.

Santana said he first saw the water consignment in October a year ago and was maddened to discover that it was still there. "It's tremendously big and tremendously wet".

Florence is forecast to trigger severe flash flooding as it dumps up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas.

To hasten evacuations in SC, officials reversed the flow of traffic on some highways so all major roads led away from the shore.

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