The mayor of Ponce, Maria Melendez visited Washington on Tuesday to negotiate funding. Congress approved it and now, Puerto Rico authorities are waiting for money to eliminate the effects of the hurricane. A day later, the President of the United States publicly spoke and declared a state of emergency in order to save money and ensure the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico. This was a wake-up call for Puerto Rico officials, since funding to deal with the effects of the hurricane could be directed to the border with Mexico. Puerto Rico residence and officials responded to Trump's statement immediately.
“Hurricane Maria has caused tremendous damage and we have dire consequences. If Donald Trump is going to use his emergency powers and take money to fund his wall, then we will continue this conversation in court,” said Ricardo Rossello Puerto Rico Gov.
"We need this funding to rebuild the destroyed homes and institutions," Rossello added.
After 3 hours, Congress said that withdrawing money to help Puerto Rico was not part of the plan and $8 billion would be enough to eliminate the effects of the hurricane, NBC News reported. Hurricane Maria destroyed more than 380 buildings and houses in Ponce in 2017. Local authorities estimate the damage at $ 510 million.
"We are always ready to repel the storm, but 'Maria' was terrible. We never had something like this. This hurricane completely devastated our land and we need time and money to restore. It will be a long process," said Melendez.
Local authorities also talk about dozens of people whose homes were completely destroyed and now they don’t have housing and money for restoration. Some homeowners cannot prove that they own their homes.
“We only have the bottom of the right decision. Only financing and distribution of funds in the cities of Puerto Rico will help us eliminate all the consequences of this terrible hurricane,” Mayor Ponce said.
To renew and accelerate the renovation process, Maria Melendez introduced special incentives for the construction of new houses and institutions in the Ponce area.
"I hope that Congress will allocate funding to Puerto Rico, despite all the obstacles. We need this funding and hope to get it soon," Melendez added.
Recall that Donald Trump is still awaiting funding for the wall on the border with Mexico to prevent illegal migration from Latin America.
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