Tags: puerto rico | governor | blames | corps | delays

Puerto Rico Governor Blames Corps of Engineers for Delays

Image: Puerto Rico Governor Blames Corps of Engineers for Delays
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 November 2017 02:11 PM

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thursday for an "unacceptable" delay in restoring power to the U.S. territory six weeks after the island was devastated by a massive hurricane, the Washington Examiner reported. 

"What we're asking is equal treatment as U.S. citizens," he told MSNBC. "We are U.S. citizens, proud U.S. citizens."

However, he said Puerto Rico has received less help after Hurricane Maria struck Sept. 20 than Florida and Texas received after hurricanes struck both states earlier this year.

Rossello accused the Corps of Engineers of a poor response to the storm that left the island without power and with massive property damage. Dozens of people were killed in the hurricane.

He said he signed a contract with the corps on Sept. 30 that was supposed to restore power within 45 days.

"The reality is, 35 days later, the Corps of Engineers hasn't started to work," he said.

The Corps of Engineers this week blamed political squabbling in Puerto Rico for the delay. Maj. Gen. Donald E. Jackson told the Senate Homeland Security Committee that the corps' efforts have been blocked by local officials. 

"We've run into some really interesting politics within the 78 municipalities that make up Puerto Rico in terms of how they are allowing us to gain access," he said.

In his MSBNC interview, Rossello also denied any responsibility for an agreement between the Puerto Rico power company and Whitefish Energy, a two-man firm that landed a $300 million contract to restore electricity.

Rossello said he canceled the contract after members of Congress began raising questions and critics questioned whether Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Republican House member from Montana, had any role in the contract.

Zinke has strongly denied he was in any way involved.

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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello blamed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thursday for an "unacceptable" delay in restoring power to the U.S. territory six weeks after the island was devastated by a massive hurricane, the Washington Examiner reported.
puerto rico, governor, blames, corps, delays
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2017-11-02
Thursday, 02 November 2017 02:11 PM
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