NEW YORK – Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16) issued the following statement about Hurricane Fiona.
“Hurricane Fiona has been devastating for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Caribbean community at large. I’m heartbroken by the stories I’m hearing,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16). “I’m watching the news and hearing the stories that you’re hearing – about the power grid failure causing a blackout over the entire island of Puerto Rico; about the Guanajibo River rising past the height record set during Hurricane Maria; and more. I hope that all are safe as we await news about damage and possible loss of life.”
“Electric power has consistently been a problem in Puerto Rico, at the expense of the people. Last year, private company LUMA took over the island’s power grid and Governor Pierluisi vetoed a bill preventing further increases in electricity prices which would’ve eliminated debt for people held by the public company that had previously provided electricity. Privatization has continued because profiteering off the public is a priority. Blackouts and high energy costs prevail while LUMA’s CEO receives $1.1 million in annual compensation. That is unacceptable.”
“I’m grateful to President Biden for his swift approval of an emergency declaration to marshall critical FEMA resources, but more is needed to save lives and communities still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. The climate crisis is urgent and here. I will continue to fight for policies that can protect our planet and people. Although we cannot control Mother Nature, there are actions and policies that can help reduce damage and keep people safer.”
“My heart is heavy, and my thoughts are with all affected by Hurricane Fiona, including all with family and friends in areas impacted by the hurricane.”
To receive updates from FEMA visit fema.gov and for updates in Spanish visit https://www.fema.gov/es.