President Trump signs bill awarding $28 billion in disaster relief aid on Tuesday. It includes $18.4 billion for Puerto Rico in the wake of Protests over the pace of disaster relief on the hurricane damaged island.
The remaining money will go to nine states, five city and county governments, and The U.S. Virgin Island to help repair homes businesses and infrastructure damaged by hurricanes, floods, wildfires, The Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson said.
President Trump signed a bill Feb. 9 authorizing $28 billion in block grant funding. Some $12 billion is designed to meet “unmet needs” from 2017 disasters, including hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as wildfires and mudslides in California.
Another $16 billion is designed for what HUD calls “mitigation activities” designed for projects to help limit the damage for future disasters.
Congressional lawmakers and local officials criticized the Trump administration for the pace of relief since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in September.
At the time and in the months since, Trump and aides said the storm virtually destroyed the power grid in Puerto Rico, and it wasn’t in good shaped to begin with.
In the new HUD grants, Carson said $2 billion is going for an upgrade to the power grid system in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In the wake of last year’s disasters, Carson said HUD officials have worked with other federal agencies in response, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.