WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said on Monday he ordered an investigation of water distribution on the hurricane-battered island and warned that there would be “hell to pay” for mishandling of the supplies.
In an interview with CNN, Rossello said drinking water supplies have been restored to roughly 60 percent of the island but some areas in the north remained at only 20 percent nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory.
“We’re delivering food to all of the municipalities, and water,” he said. “There were complaints that that water in some places was not getting to the people so I ordered a full investigation.”
The distribution of supplies including food, water and fuel has been a major challenge for the struggling government after Maria wiped out its power grid, flooded roads and crippled the communications system.
“If there is a place, a locality that is not delivering food to the people of Puerto Rico that need it, there’s going to be some hell to pay,” Rossello said.
He said the government was trying to identify problems in the distribution pipeline, looking to ensure that local leaders deliver resources to the Puerto Rican people as soon as they arrives in the municipality.
“I think that there are places where water is being withheld and food is being withheld,” Rossello said. “We need to showcase it, we need to push it forward to the people.”
Three weeks after the storm hit, Puerto Rico still has a long road to recovery, having only 15 percent of electrical power restored and struggling to regain communication services. The White House has asked Congress for $29 billion in hurricane relief for Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)