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Trump Waives Jones Act Amid Puerto Rico's Food And Water Crisis

Trump Waives Jones Act Amid Puerto Rico's Food And Water Crisis

She said Trump was responding to a request from Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello, and that the Jones Act waiver "will go into effect immediately".

One week after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, the U.S. Defense Department said 80 percent of the island's electricity lines are damaged and almost half its residents are without drinking water.

The roughly 100-year-old Jones Act requires goods shipped between American ports to travel on US -flagged ships with American crews.

Waiving restrictions on foreign vessels that carry cargo to Puerto Rico "could overwhelm the system, creating unnecessary backlogs and causing confusion on the distribution of critical supplies throughout the island,"' said Thomas Allegretti, the group's chairman. Many people are unable to work or run businesses because there's no electricity, or diesel to fuel generators. The delivery of relief supplies has been complicated by disruption of telephone service and roads still damaged by flooding or left impassable by fallen trees and debris.

"Any organization collecting donations can bring them here to the warehouse at the corner of Washington and Lake Shore Drive and we will make sure they get on the truck", he said.

It was the third major hurricane to affect the United States in less than a month, following Harvey in Texas and Irma, which ranked as the most powerful Atlantic storm on record before thrashing several Caribbean islands and Florida.

President Trump said yesterday that the administration was "thinking about" waiving it.

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The $40 million in "quick release" funds is meant to restore essential traffic on Puerto Rico's roads and limit further damage, in order to facilitate long-term fix work and recovery efforts. The agency quoted a spokesman for a Florida-based shipping company as saying thousands of 20-foot containers of food, water and soap were piling up at docks in the Puerto Rican capital, San Juan. That order included Puerto Rico, but expired last week shortly after Maria struck.

In Puerto Rico, doctors' offices and walk-in clinics haven't reopened since the storm.

The father of six typically works from home or travels around the world for his job, but neither approach is possible now because the power is still out for almost all 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico and flights off the island are down to only a few each day. "And we have a lot of ships out there right now".

He plans to visit the island on Tuesday.

Rodriguez said he and other students he is working with plan to reach out to Hoos For Puerto Rico to help with this initiative. "Power was on just a few hours before going down again", spokesman Jesus Velez says.

Republican Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., agrees the Defense Department should lead the Puerto Rico relief efforts.

"I know a lot of kids are suffering from anxiety and bouts of depression because there are students who can't contact any of their family at all", Toro said.

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