Does Puerto Rico 2017 = New Orleans 2005?

The picture above reminds me of Hurricane Katrina.
So does this.

For hospitals across this region, the challenges are mounting. After the power went out, back-up generators at some hospitals failed quickly. Other hospitals are running critically low on diesel. Fuel is so precious that deliveries are made by armed guards to prevent looting, according to Dr. Ivan Gonzalez Cancel, a cardiovascular surgeon and director of the heart transplant program at Centro Cardiovascular.
...“I think this might be a calm before we see an influx as other hospitals lose generators,” said Commander Michael Garner, a regional coordinator for the effort.
...Dr. Juan Carlos Sotomonte, the medical director of the Centro Medico‘s cardiovascular unit, said intervention – divine or otherwise – is needed fast.
“If this is not taken care of, people are going to start dying,” he said.

What is needed is a massive response, but I don't see it happening.
No one in power seems to acknowledge the extent of the problem.

The problem is that roughly 80 percent of transmission lines, which take power from the plants to distribution centers, are down. Nearly all the local power lines that run to residences and businesses have likely also been destroyed.
The damage is so severe that simply repairing the electrical grid may not be an option. “We really should think in terms of rebuilding at this point,” says Ken Buell, director of Emergency Response and Recovery with the US Department of Energy. Paying for it will be a challenge, however: the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, is bankrupt, with at least $9 billion in debt, The New York Times reported in July. “They’re saying as far as economic impact, we're talking probably billions of dollars of impact,” Buell says. “So it's a big deal.”
...The local power authority hasn’t finished assessing the damage to power lines that run from the distribution centers to residences and businesses, “but they're assuming that it's near 100 percent,” Buell says.
Since Puerto Rico is an island, damage to its ports and airports are hindering efforts to send help.

Puerto Rico's already bankrupt economy has a complication from having no power - no credit.

“Cash only,” said Abraham Lebron, the store manager standing guard at Supermax, a supermarket in San Juan’s Plaza de las Armas. He was in a well-policed area, but admitted feeling like a sitting duck with so many bills on hand. “The system is down, so we can’t process the cards. It’s tough, but one finds a way to make it work.”
The cash economy has reigned in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria decimated much of the U.S. commonwealth last week, leveling the power grid and wireless towers and transporting the island to a time before plastic existed. The state of affairs could carry on for weeks or longer in some remote parts of the commonwealth, and that means it could be impossible to trace revenue and enforce tax rules.
up
40 users have voted.

Comments

gulfgal98's picture

makes me cry because it should never have to have been written. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They are in dire need of assistance and NO ONE here seems to care.

up
29 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

The Aspie Corner's picture

@gulfgal98 ....always intended:

They are in dire need of assistance and NO ONE here seems to care.

They wanted a government that can't and won't act, except on behalf of the insanely wealthy and the bloated military.

Let the privatization and gentrification of Puerto Rico commence! /s

up
30 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@The Aspie Corner These predators are just waiting to rebuild PR with an eye to privatization and theft. They'll take advantage of their debt, and the destroyed infrastructure by making them a wholly owned subsidiary of oligarchy.

up
11 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

SnappleBC's picture

@gulfgal98 You care. I care. In general liberals seem to care. Even neolibs care because it happened under Trump. People care. But nobody in power is doing anything. There's nothing new with that story.

up
10 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

dance you monster's picture

Maybe because New Orleans had a football team it mattered more to the folks in DC.

up
17 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

@dance you monster
There were television cameras shaming them into action. So far, almost no coverage of PR.

up
21 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Centaurea's picture

@dance you monster Speaking as someone who was living at Ground Zero (the western Mississippi Gulf Coast) during Katrina, the response to Katrina was extremely slow and inept.

If the Saints football team had any influence, it surely didn't show.

up
22 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep." ~Rumi

@Centaurea

But when Bush wasn't fishing, didn't he at least make time for photo ops? And I seem to recall his mother? understandingly making the empathetic point that the Poors wouldn't feel it as 'we' (the truly exceptionally psychopathic) would? After all, the Poors have so little to lose that it can hardly matter, even if they lose their pointless lives.

There need to be empathy tests which anyone trying to attain public office must pass, to prevent the inhuman from gaining power over people ever again...

up
7 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

snoopydawg's picture

Anyone who is a diabetic will probably die if the power stays off more than a week because insulin needs to be kept cold. And many pharmacies that don't have power can't refill people's prescriptions. Hospitals can use generators until they run out of fuel.
I read that help is either there or it's close by.

Trump was golfing again this weekend and he didn't mention PR once. I'm sure you know how this would have gone over if Obama or Hillary was president and they were golfing during this time.
How many weekends has Trump stayed home? Remember how he and many others criticized Obama each time he went golfing or on vacation? The amount of money spent on any president going somewhere is staggering. The secret service has to check the places out 3 days before a president goes anywhere. The protocol for marine1 has the same type of procedures.Then there are all the other security agencies that have to be paid while they are anywhere. He has spent over $500,000 since he was elected.

up
16 users have voted.

a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

The Aspie Corner's picture

@snoopydawg Or he's come damn close to it. But this is the kind of asshole Repigs want leading their party. After all, I'm not sure if it was the Koch Bros, John Boehner or Mitch McConnel who said this, but they basically don't give a shit how stupid or outright evil the guy is, they just want someone who can use a pen. I guess congratulations are in order because they have what they want.

Oh, and Democrats normalized this shit by using it as a boogeyman to distract from what constituents actually want.

up
12 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@snoopydawg

The amount of money spent on any president going somewhere is staggering. The secret service has to check the places out 3 days before a president goes anywhere. The protocol for marine1 has the same type of procedures.Then there are all the other security agencies that have to be paid while they are anywhere.

That's not the fault of any President. Congress did all that, and only Congress can fix it.

Presidents aren't prisoners, and should not be.

The killing of JFK (and eventually of Bobby Kennedy as well) is the historical root cause here. Congress freaked out seriously and passed the laws which turned the President into a Prisoner. These need to be modified or repealed.

up
4 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Puerto Rico isn't the only American territory in the Caribbean that has been destroyed this season by hurricanes.

The US Virgin Islands were first hit by Irma (St. Thomas and St. John). At that point people fled to St. Croix only to be hit by Cat 5 Maria later on.

I only just got any word that my family in St. Croix is all right on Sunday. The same with pictures of the damage on St. Croix.

I just wanted to point this out. While there was reporting on Irma and the northernmost US VI's, there has been next to nothing about St. Croix and Maria. I haven't seen any flyover pictures of St. Croix.

My intent is not to diminish the desperate need of Puerto Rico but in all of this, it would be nice to remember all the US territories in the Caribbean that have been through both Irma and Maria.

I didn't even want to mention it at all so I will be quiet now.

Again, my family is safe. They have lost things but they are still alive.

EDITED TO ADD: BTW Post Offices in St. Thomas are open on a limited basis.

Post Offices in both Puerto Rico and St. Croix are closed.

up
20 users have voted.

Yaldabaoth, Saklas I'm calling you. Samael. You're not alone. I said, you're not alone, in your darkness. You're not alone, baby. You're not alone. "Original Sinsuality" Tori Amos

mhagle's picture

@Dark UltraValia

Do you have any links to local activists taking donations?

up
8 users have voted.

Marilyn

Let's save the planet for our kids. Tree Hugger to the end.

@mhagle Not a very social person as anyone can see from the amount of times I post here. Smile

up
6 users have voted.

Yaldabaoth, Saklas I'm calling you. Samael. You're not alone. I said, you're not alone, in your darkness. You're not alone, baby. You're not alone. "Original Sinsuality" Tori Amos

@Dark UltraValia
I hadn't heard anything about St. Croix.
link

From the air, St. Croix has a lot to rebuild: 70 percent of the buildings are damaged, and many look like the contents of a match box tossed on the ground.
The governor hopes to have the electricity back on by December.

"We need a lot of support in terms of how we are going to get homes repaired," Mapp told Fox News. "We are really trying to figure out how we rebuild resiliently as opposed to how we are going to rebuild fast. We've got 80 percent of our power system on the ground."

He estimates it will cost an estimated $200 million to rebuild the electrical grid, most of which was built above ground. These telephone and electrical lines look like a ball of tangled yarn. The islands of St. John and St. Thomas to the north are "shredded," according to the National Guard working there.

up
8 users have voted.

@gjohnsit My biggest issue was how long it took for me to hear anything. While Puerto Rico was not being given adequate attention, it was at least in the news.

The lack of anything in the news about St. Croix or the other US VI made it practically invisible.

I'm actually glad my father was not alive to see this. He would have been cursing up a storm and a half.

up
7 users have voted.

Yaldabaoth, Saklas I'm calling you. Samael. You're not alone. I said, you're not alone, in your darkness. You're not alone, baby. You're not alone. "Original Sinsuality" Tori Amos

@Dark UltraValia

...I only just got any word that my family in St. Croix is all right on Sunday. The same with pictures of the damage on St. Croix. ...

OMG, you must have been frantic! I hope they can manage and recover, despite their losses.

I've been wondering about there and the Virgin Islands, having not seen mention of them either...

up
6 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@Ellen North I was. The not knowing and having little to no reporting was not easy to deal with. I'm just glad that I now know.

One of my coworkers pointed out that we really shouldn't be surprised about the way things are being handled considering the fact that after Superstorm Sandy, we still have people here in NYC that have no homes.

Sigh.

up
3 users have voted.

Yaldabaoth, Saklas I'm calling you. Samael. You're not alone. I said, you're not alone, in your darkness. You're not alone, baby. You're not alone. "Original Sinsuality" Tori Amos

@Dark UltraValia

The provably inefficient big corporations should move out of government and let the 'little people' take over.

up
0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Lookout's picture

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/12/austerity_divestment_irma_juan_go...
(video or text)

It is a public utility that has been cut and cut and cut to the point where it barely functions. Now there are cries to privatize. It's the American way. Starve public service to the point where it is dysfunctional and then turn it over to the parasites to profit from it.

up
12 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

EdMass's picture

I am reading and seeing reports and pictures that directly contradict this assessment of lack of response.

Including the PR Guv on NPR this AM saying that federal support is responsive and the problem is in-country logistics. Roads need clearing for trucks etc to get through, open ports, airports, etc.

FEMA reports that a massive inter-department relief effort is underway, including:

1 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations personnel are onsite in St. Thomas to evaluate, fix, and install FAA equipment, in support of airport operations.
2 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completed a Blue Roof install on Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas, and completed its first residential Blue Roof install on September 23. Installations began on St. Croix yesterday.
3 Additionally, USACE has generators on hand in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, with more en route.
4 A Coast Guard mobile communications convoy is en route to Puerto Rico to help improve communications across the storm-impacted area. Coast Guard personnel continue to deliver critical FEMA relief supplies to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
5 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the DoD conducted medical evacuations for more than 100 patients from the islands to the continental United States. Medical evacuations from the islands will continue. Additionally HHS medical teams are on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
6 The National Guard Bureau (NGB) has more than 4,300 Guard members on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands taking part in security and support operations.
7 The Air National Guard is focused on transporting food, water, and communications capabilities as well as rapidly increasing airlift into affected areas.
8 Customs and Border Protection airplanes and helicopters are assisting with conducting damage assessment and search and rescue missions.

maria-rescue-efforts.jpg

up
11 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

@EdMass
But the size of the problem is immense.
It requires a reaction that is rarely ever seen.

PR after_0.jpg
PR before_0.jpg

up
6 users have voted.
EdMass's picture

@gjohnsit

What is needed is a massive response, but I don't see it happening. No one in power seems to acknowledge the extent of the problem.

Peace.

up
3 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

@EdMass
Just like in New Orleans in 2005.

Remember that Bush was nice enough to send in Blackwater. Trump hasn't even gotten around to that.

up
6 users have voted.

@EdMass
link

“I wasn’t preoccupied with the NFL,” Trump said during a joint news conference Tuesday at the White House with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. “The NFL situation is a very important situation. I have plenty of time on my hands. All I do is work. And to be honest that’s a very important function of working. It’s called respect for our country.”

Hours earlier, Trump issued a call on Twitter for the National Football League to change its rules to prohibit players from kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. Meanwhile, he has come under increasing criticism for an unfolding humanitarian disaster in Puerto Rico, which is without electricity or sufficient supplies of food and water after Hurricane Maria struck the U.S. territory last week.

“It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the situation on the island,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday. He said he had spoken with Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rossello, and that the territory needs 200 more generators and additional security, power lines and workers, medicine and other resources.

“Mr. President, these are American citizens,” he said. “They desperately need our help.”

up
7 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@gjohnsit

“Mr. President, these are American citizens,” he said. “They desperately need our help.”

From Prince Ramses Donald Chump?

ROTFLMAO!!

Bad

up
6 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

the organizations referenced by EdMass are doing what they can, but don't we have a carrier, with it's onboard hospital capability somewhere nearby? They can't all be in Middle Eastern waters.

Nevertheless, I venture to answer gjohnsit's question with a yes. My guess is that the T-Rumpus admin is effectively over, just like the GWB admin was over after Katrina. Notice what is happening with his Repeal Obama Care. All of a sudden, Republican senators feel comfortable enough defying the WH of their own party to sink a major presidential campaign promise.

Whatever one thinks about Obama, he was always on top of major disasters. It is my impression that the Obama response to Fukushima, which sent a large portion of the Pacific Fleet sailing to Japan with orders to make itself useful, within about an hour of first reports of the disaster, was far more effective than what is being done now. Furthermore, Obama didn't treat his own tours of affected areas like a fashion shoot, and left his wife home.

The problem, it seems to me, with electing or promoting a disruptor to an executive position is that the disruptor doesn't know how to act when action, not protest, is needed.

up
8 users have voted.

Nastarana

EdMass's picture

@Nastarana
are in the Straights of Hormuz and surrounding N Korea.

Choose ur poison.

up
7 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

@EdMass
that helps a lot! Not one in the Atlantic Ocean anywhere?

up
6 users have voted.

Nastarana

EdMass's picture

@Nastarana

Martha's Vineyard is near rebellion, must be one there....

up
6 users have voted.

“Breaking News: The United States political system has been arrested for fraud, treason, and premeditated murder of democracy.” -- Big Al

Stop The War!

lotlizard's picture

@Nastarana  
and keep the media and environmentalist investigators from checking out the beaches firsthand?

That’s definitely the impression I got.

up
8 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@lotlizard

@lotlizard WASHINGTON The Obama administration failed to act upon or fully inform the public of its own worst-case estimates of the amount of oil gushing from the blown-out BP well, slowing response efforts and keeping the American people in the dark for weeks about the size of the disaster, according to preliminary reports from the presidential commission investigating the accident.

...

“By initially underestimating the amount of oil flow and then, at the end of the summer, appearing to underestimate the amount of oil remaining in the gulf,” one of the reports stated, “the federal government created the impression that it was either not fully competent to handle the spill or not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.

The reports also say that about two weeks after the BP rig exploded, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asked the White House for permission to make public its worst-case models for the accident. The White House Office of Management and Budget initially denied the request, according to government officials interviewed by the commission’s staff members.

After first denying any Federal responsibility for the cleanup.

The president, Gibbs added, lacked the authority to play anything more than a supervisory role – a curious line of argument from an administration that has reserved the right to assassinate American citizens abroad and has nationalized much of the auto industry. "If BP is not accomplishing the task, can you just federalize it?" a reporter asked. "No," Gibbs replied.

And all this after studiously ignoring the clear and present danger for two years:

Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years. He calibrated his response to the Gulf spill based on flawed and misleading estimates from BP – and then deployed his top aides to lowball the flow rate at a laughable 5,000 barrels a day, long after the best science made clear this catastrophe would eclipse the Exxon Valdez.

up
8 users have voted.

I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

@lotlizard
In that instance he appeared to be taking orders from either the British govt. or the oil industry or both. I had forgotten about his lame performance at that time and you were right to remind me.

up
0 users have voted.

Nastarana

earthling1's picture

and only seven seas. There's got to be a carrier group somewhere close to the mainland, you know, to protect those of us who paid for them.

up
7 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@earthling1

Nineteen carrier groups and only seven seas. There's got to be a carrier group somewhere close to the mainland, you know, to protect those of us who paid for them.

Surely you jest!

Diablo

up
2 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

WoodsDweller's picture

Most of us probably already subscribe, but for those who may not, this is worth a watch.

Puerto Rico Looks Like "The Walking Dead"

up
6 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.