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Build back better Puerto Rico: request for federal assistance for disaster recovery
This document represents an aggregation of the best available disaster damages caused by the 2017 Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and is an initial assessment of the cost to rebuild a stronger, more resilient Puerto Rico.
Maria represented a “worst case scenario” for Puerto Rico, tracking east-to-west across the island and leaving no one and no thing untouched. Within a matter of hours, 100% of Puerto Rico’s population, economy, critical infrastructure, social service network, healthcare system, and even the government became casualties of the storm. All power was lost across the Island as a direct result of the catastrophic failure of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (PREPA’s) transmission and distribution infrastructure to the point that experts estimate it could take as long as a year to bring even temporary power back to all Island households and businesses. This produced a cascading effect that impacted critical infrastructure and services that relied on power to operate (such as airports, seaports, hospitals, water systems, communications networks, hotels, traffic and street lights, etc.), plunged homes and businesses across the Island into darkness, and caused a devastating blow to Puerto Rico’s fragile economy – an impact that continues to be felt throughout the island even today and that is expected to last for many years.