WASHINGTON – Since Hurricane Maria impacted the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners continue to work in support of the Islands.
Efforts remain underway to gain access to ports, airports and roadways, save and assist lives during search and rescue operations, assess all hospitals, and move commodities throughout the territory. Thousands of FEMA and interagency personnel continue working relentlessly to provide life-sustaining resources to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ten days ago, Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean. FEMA and our federal partners have worked side-by-side with the U.S. Virgin Islands to support their response efforts. Here are some examples of actions underway:
- Urban Search and Rescue teams working alongside local law enforcement searched 143 structures, covering 100 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through the Blue Roof Program, is conducting door-to-door Right of Entry (ROE) collection visits in St. Thomas and to date, collected more than 740 forms for repairs.
- Drinking water is being restored although customers have a potable water advisory. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority are addressing these territory-wide issues
- St. Croix and St. Thomas reports that they have adequate fuel supply on the islands for power generation and response efforts, including gasoline, diesel and propane.
- The Salvation Army, with other interagency partners, are providing 2,000 meals per day on St. Johns, 1,000 meals per day on St. Croix, and 5,000 meals per day on St. Thomas.
- Commodities, such as food and water, are being delivered and distributed through 16 points of distribution (POD).
- The U.S. Coast Guard continues to assess the remaining port in St. Croix, as all other ports are opened and deemed operational.
- Efforts from the Federal Aviation Administration along with the Department of Defense are enabling all airports in St. Thomas and St. Croix to accommodate daily commercial flights.
- U.S. Virgin Island public schools plan to reopen Oct. 9.
- St. Thomas has 41.8 percent of 55 cell towers operational; St. Croix has 21.4 percent of 42 cell towers operational; and St. John is still conducting operations for cell tower coverage.
The recovery process will not be accomplished overnight, but progress is ongoing as FEMA and its federal partners work side-by-side with the U.S. Virgin Islands. We were there when the storm hit, and with continuous efforts underway, we will be there throughout the recovery.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.
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