DoD Boosts Personnel Aiding Hurricane Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2017 — The number of DoD personnel deployed to help their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico jumped from around 4,600 to around 6,400 members, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said during a San Juan news conference today.

The governor briefed on all the lines of effort as the island commonwealth strives to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

Supply ships continue to arrive and the governor and federal officials are working together to ensure food, water and fuel get to the people who need it the most.

‘There is Increased Capability’

“In terms of personnel, the DoD has increased their presence from 4,600 about 36 hours ago, to about 6,400,” Rossello said. “As you can see, there is increased capability and those capabilities are expected to increase.”

The number of DoD personnel will rise and fall as missions begin and end, Rossello said. DoD personnel are working in support of the Puerto Rican government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency — the lead federal agency for disaster relief efforts on the island.

After food and water, distribution of gasoline and diesel is the most critical need, the governor said. “We’ve been increasing the number of gas stations that are open,” he said.