September 27 Aid Update for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

September 27 Aid Update for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

U.S. Air National Guard Airman assigned to the 156th Fire Department, Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico clear debris Sept. 26, 2017. Muniz Air National Guard Base was struck Puerto Rico Sept. 20, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicholas Dutton)

Airports and Seaports

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III Galaxy transport aircraft lands at the Jose Aponte de la Torre Airport, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and other services of Department of Defense, is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexis C. Schneider)

Coast Guard:

  • 4 harbors in Puerto Rico open without restrictions
  • 3 harbors in Puerto Rico open with restrictions
  • 8 harbors in US Virgin Islands open with restrictions

Department of Defense

  • In Puerto Rico, the San Juan Airport and nine other airports are open.
  • In the US Virgin Islands, all airports are closed except for military and relief operations.
  • A joint Army National Guard and Marine expeditionary unit team established Roosevelt Roads Airfield as an Installation Staging Base; available for 24/7 hurricane relief and commercial operations.

Search and Rescue

Mike Gomez, communications manager, stages Search and Rescue equipment for the Federal Emergency Management Agency at Muniz Air National Guard Base, Carolina, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017 to provide rescue operations for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island, Sept. 2017. The 156th Aerial Port Squadron is supporting FEMA as well as state and local authorities in rescue and relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicholas Dutton)


  • Ten FEMA Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) task forces are relentlessly conducting operations in Puerto Rico. To date, the US&R teams rescued 557 lives and five pets, while searching over 2,600 structures.

Water and Power

A Coast Guard Investigative Service agent delivers water to residents of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. As part of the Department of Homeland Security team, the Coast Guard is linked directly to FEMA and the overall federal hurricane recovery phase of the Hurricane Mariaresponse. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashley J. Johnson)

Department of Energy

  • Puerto Rico: Much of the urban area of Mayagüez is energized by the hydro-gas plant that is located within the municipality.
  • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) continues to report near 100% of total customers in Puerto Rico remain without power, with the exception of facilities on generators and some critical facilities.
  • Virgin Islands: There is limited electricity distribution on St. Thomas. Portions of five feeders are partially energized.
  • Virgin Islands: On St. Croix, efforts continued Monday to energize more sections of downtown Christiansted and Frederiksted town up to the Paul E. Joseph Stadium
  • Virgin Islands: Seven Seas water production facility is online and stabilized and potable water service is being provided to a growing number of St. Croix residents.
  • FEMA: Six step-up DLA transformers are expected to arrive this week.
  • FEMA: Corps of Engineers coordinated transportation of more than 300 FEMA or Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) generators from across the U.S. to meet anticipated requirements in the islands.


Andre Vallerie, a Saint Thomas native and home builder, greets Spc. Cerelia Spencer, a Clarksville, Tenn., native and a medic with the 602nd Area Support Medical Company, 261st Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 44th Medical Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C., after returning with her unit to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sept. 24, 2017. Soldiers from the 602nd ASMC provide triage, a variety of medical treatments, and pre-evacuation care after hurricanes Irma and Maria caused major damage to the local hospital. The Department of Defense conducts Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations to assist civilian responders in saving lives, relieving human suffering and mitigating property damage in response to a catastrophic disaster. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Elvis Umanzor)

Department of Defense

  • Puerto Rico: Fifty nine of 69 hospitals are operational with unknown status.
  • Virgin Islands: J.F. Luis Hospital in St. Croix has been found to be structurally sound.
  • Virgin Islands: Power has been restored to the Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas.

Department of Energy

  • Puerto Rico: As of early September 25, Governor Ricardo Rosselló confirmed that the Hima San Pablo Hospital has electrical power.
  • At approximately 10:30 AM EDT, Tuesday, September 26, the Río Piedras Medical Center lost power. It is expected to be restored by today or tomorrow, Wednesday, September 27.


Latest data on cell phone site availability in Puerto Rico
Latest data on cell phone site availability in Puerto Rico


  • Puerto Rico: 90.9 percent of cell sites are out of service
  • Puerto Rico: 29 of 78 counties have no operational cell sites
  • Puerto Rico: No counties have more than 25 percent of their cell sites in operation.
  • Virgin Islands: St Thomas-47.3 percent of sites out of service, St. John-66.7 percent, St Croix-78.6 percent
  • WQBS, WCMN-FM, WMIO, WPRM-FM, WNEL, WPRP, WZAR and WUNO in Puerto Rico are reported as being out of service in DIRS.


U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Tylor S. Nixon, a combat engineer with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), cuts through a tree during route clearing operations as part of relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 25, 2017.The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tojyea G. Matally)
  • Illinois Air National Guard: The Illinois Air National Guard arrived on the island on Sept. 23, three days after Maria hit. … the eight-member team from the 126th Communications Flight set up a JISCC – Joint Incident Site Communications Capability – adjacent to the Puerto Rico Air National Guard’s 156th Wing operations building at Muniz Air National Guard Base. This team of Airmen is now providing emergency communications capability to the wing’s command post and 24-hour support.
  • Kentucky Air National Guard: The Kentucky ANG’s 123rd Contingency Response Group [40 personnel on scene] arrived at San Juan airport, the largest on the island, two days after the storm hit. By the first night, the CRG was operational and began receiving cargo-laden aircraft. The CRG is essentially an “airport in a box.” It brings cargo handling, passenger processing and related capabilities to either a combat scenario or, as is the case in San Juan, in a humanitarian/disaster relief crisis.
  • FEMA: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has more than 750 personnel engaged.
  • FEMA: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a 6-person team in the U.S. Virgin Islands and an additional 18 en route.
  • FEMA: The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) deployed 135 personnel to assist communities recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
  • Northcom [9/27/2017]: One C-5 is arriving in Puerto Rico with support staff to begin the transition from a sea-based to land-based response. This unit includes approximately 50 personnel.
  • Northcom [9/27/2017]: Five C-17s are arriving in Saint Thomas with the 247th Composite Supply Company from Fort Carson, Colorado, to provide supplies to the 601st Area Support Medical Company. This unit includes approximately 30 personnel and 190 tons of fuel and medical equipment.

New Deliveries

Members of the Virgin Islands National Guard and the Virgin Islands Fire Department distributes food and water to civilians at St. Croix Educational Complex, one of the four points of distribution, Friday, September 22. Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane, left St. Croix devastated after making landfall early Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Department of Defense

  • U.S. Transportation Command coordinated 14 flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico yesterday, delivering food, water, FEMA communications, FEMA logistics, security teams and critical DoD enablers …
  • US Transportation Command has 16 flights scheduled today to deliver food, water, communications and DoD rotary-wing aviation.
  • The Defense Logistics Agency is transporting 15,000 gallons of propane to Puerto Rico and 10,000 to the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • DLA is shipping 175,000 gallons of diesel and 75,000 gallons of gasoline, by barge to Puerto Rico by Sept. 29.
  • DLA is also shipping 90 fuel trucks to Puerto Rico.
  • Northcom [9/27/2017]: Four C-17s are arriving in Saint Croix with 22 pallets of bottled water and 25 pallets of shelf-stable meals able to support 250,000 local residents.

Navy and Coast Guard Response

The Coast Guard Cutter James serves as a command and control platform in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 26, 2017. The cutter’s crew deployed to aid in Hurricane Maria response operations and the ship’s communications capabilities are being used to help first responders coordinate efforts. (Coast Guard photo)
    Department of Defense

  • Northcom has requested the hospital ship USNS Comfort prepare to get underway. The ship has a 72-96 hour prep time.


Prior Posts

September 26 [late evening] Puerto Rico planned to fail before Maria hit
September 26 [late evening] Relief and Recovery Efforts in Puerto Rico
September 26 Hurricane Maria Relief News for Today
September 25 Puerto Rico versus Haiti

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