Trump authorizes waiver to loosen shipping regulations for Puerto Rico

"They're the best responders to natural disasters on the planet". We'll be accepting them until further notice.

The White House on Thursday waived an act that was preventing foreign ships from delivering supplies to Puerto Rico, more than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the USA territory.

As of Wednesday night, students and professors have donated $979 - almost 20 percent of Hoos For Puerto Rico's goal of raising $5,000.

"I've heard a lot of 'oh, they're island people and this happens to them all the time, ' but the fact is that they're Americans", she said.

On Wednesday the governor and others pushed Trump to temporarily waive the Jones Act, a law requiring that all goods shipped between US ports be carried by USA owned-and-operated vessels. That decision came only after days of public pressure from lawmakers - both Republicans and Democrats.

The law was suspended in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to help ships reach Florida and Texas, but the president expressed reluctance to do the same for Puerto Rico. In the case of the airport, for example, Rubio said the Federal Aviation Administration, FEMA and the local government have jurisdiction.

With cell towers still down, Rodriguez has not yet been able to speak directly with his parents, but a brother who works in marketing in San Juan was able to drive to Humacao to be sure the family was ok.

He joined the growing list of officials who argued that lifting the the Jones Act - a federal law created to protect the financial interests of United States shipbuilders by limiting shipping by foreign vessels - would help expedite supplies to the ravaged island.

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Even if the waiver helps speed cargo to the island, Puerto Rico is still struggling to move supplies around. While she, like many public sector workers, has been called back to work she can't go because she has to care for her elderly mother in the aftermath of the storm.

Under the law, only USA -flagged ships are allowed to move goods between any US ports.

"I am very satisfied", Duke said of the federal response.

All of that remains in very short supply a week later, and now many are wondering how long it will take for life to return to normal in the US territory of 3.4 million.

Bossert said later Thursday that the "business model" for recover efforts had changed and that FEMA is working directly with the localities as well as state government.

The Federal Highway Administration said Thursday that it would immediately make the emergency relief funds available to the US territory to help restore service on roads and bridges badly damaged by the storm. Also on the way are ambulances and 100 trucks carrying diesel and gasoline fuel.

"People say FEMA is going to help us", Valentin said Tuesday as she showed Associated Press journalists around the sodden wreckage of her home.

They said that the team will continue to monitor immediate needs and assess mid- to longer-term needs. "You're in complete darkness wondering if the storm's over, if the end is coming, and then it keeps getting louder".


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