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US Army General to Lead to Puerto Rico Recovery Effort

03 October 2017

Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, commander of U.S. Army North, will be arriving in Puerto Rico on Thursday evening.

Rubio said that the only solution would be to temporarily put the military in charge of the logistical response, and said he has urged President Donald Trump to make that decision. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!

"Given the changing scope and conditions, DOD will adjust its concept of operations in Puerto Rico and transition from a short-term, sea-based response to a predominantly land-based effort created to provide robust, longer term support to (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and (to Puerto Rico)", Davis said.

John Cornelio, spokesman for U.S. Northern Command, said Buchanan is being sent to the island to better assess the situation so the military can provide the highest level of support for the disaster.

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Puerto Rico's devastated infrastructure and a shortage of truck drivers is making it hard to move aid where it is needed most - evident by the more than 9,500 containers of relief supplies now stranded on Puerto Rico's main port of San Juan.

The humanitarian mission, offered free of charge, was arranged between Royal Caribbean International and Puerto Rican authorities on a largely ad-hoc, first-come basis that sought to give some priority to those facing special hardships.

"The logistics chain is broken and only the US military can stand it up".

Army Brigadier General Richard Kim told reporters that the total military force on the island, including the Puerto Rico National Guard, numbered about 4,400 troops. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump temporarily lifted a century-old law -- known as the Jones Act -- that requires cargo between US ports to be carried on American-flagged ships. Under the waiver, cargos from foreign ports can be delivered directly to Puerto Rico without passing through US ports. They have got to get that aid moving to the right places. He has staunchly defended the Trump administration for its relief response, which Trump noted in one of his Thursday night Twitter posts.

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Brock Long, the FEMA administrator, told CNN he was dissatisfied with the federal response to Maria, saying operations had been hindered by damage to the island's air traffic control system, airports and seaports.

"It's not because they don't want to do more, and it's not because the White House doesn't want to do more", Rubio said.

Cornelio also said the number of open gas stations has increased from about 400 to 676.

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US Army General to Lead to Puerto Rico Recovery Effort