Puerto Rico power restoration could take 6 months: FEMA director

In the last month, two devastating storms have plowed through Puerto Rico as the island of 3.4 million people took another beating from Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, leaving the entire island without power.

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, making it the first Category 4 hurricane to hit the island since 1932.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long says aid workers are taking the first steps to restore power to critical facilities such as hospitals, but the longer term power rebuild could take up to six months.

“Unfortunately the power grid in Puerto Rico is a fragile system to begin with, and I think Governor [of Puerto] Rico has been very open about that. Going into this storm we have been trying to set expectations that the power could be off for multiple months,” Long said during an interview on FOX Business’ ‘Varney & Co.’

Roughly 11,000 people have taken refuge in 500 shelters throughout Puerto Rico after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

Less than two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma grazed Puerto Rico causing an estimated $1 billion in damages, and Long urged people to step up and help Puerto Rico like they did in Florida and Texas.

“FEMA can’t do it alone and it was an amazing thing to see America unite around first Texas and now Florida. We’re going to need that whole community and that neighbor helping neighbor process in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” Long said. “Puerto Rico took a devastating hit last night and we are still trying to uncover the impact this morning and hopefully, being able to get in and do the life safety mission.”