US: "This is Puerto Rico": A community still suffering from Maria - PressFrom - US
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US"This is Puerto Rico": A community still suffering from Maria

09:45  27 july  2019
09:45  27 july  2019 Source:   cbsnews.com

Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction

Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction Congress has allocated $42.5 billion in disaster aid for Puerto Rico, according to federal data, but the island has received less than $14 billion through May. Trump signed another aid bill in June that will send an additional $1 billion to the island. The bulk of aid dollars are still in Washington, much of it waiting on processes that require officials to submit a series of plans that outline how they expect to use the money and await federal approval. What's more, the aid Puerto Rico received is a fraction of what it needs — Hurricane Maria inflicted an estimated $90 billion in damage on the island.

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"This is Puerto Rico": A community still suffering from Maria© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.

"They don't hear the other problems of the municipalities," said Utuado Mayor Ernesto Irizarry Salva, a former high school teacher, who has been begging for help since Maria hit.

He said he would tell the incoming governor "the biggest challenges are to get out of San Juan and go to the towns and see the people who are really suffering from Maria."

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People like 76-year-old Domingo Villafane, who CBS News spoke to on a bridge that keeps washing away every time there is a storm.

Domingo said he would tell the people of America that Puerto Rico is "abandoned."

Abandoned by a government that is notoriously slow for getting money to municipalities that still haven't recovered. The mayor's budget is only $8.5 million for the island's third-largest municipality of 33,000 people.

The road to the home of Domingo is collapsing and the mayor said he uses sand and rocks from the river because he can't afford to do it the right way.

Domingo took us to his home, a two-room house on the top of a hill. He lost his whole roof during Maria. The new one is tin with holes. When it rains, it rains inside.

For the mayor, the problems are overwhelming.

"It is frustrating. It's really frustrating and this is the real Puerto Rico. It is not the beaches. It's not the piña colada," Salva said. "This is Puerto Rico. And the people in Puerto Rico are suffering."

Puerto Rico's brand new governor faces constitutional challenge.
Puerto Rico's new governor - in power less than three days - didn't make it through the weekend without seeing his leadership challenged. Late Sunday, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi said the Senate had filed a lawsuit declaring his administration unconstitutional. "Although it is regrettable that this matter has to be dealt with in our courts, I hope that it will be treated with the greatest urgency and diligence for the good of the people of Puerto Rico," he said. Pierluisi was sworn in on Friday after former Gov.

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