PBS reports the latest on the Department of Defense’s primary military liaison with FEMA Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan. Although we all know that other islands had horrific damage, to say the least, the statement that the destruction in Puerto Rico is ‘the worst he’s ever seen’ is—finally—a welcome acknowledgement by a U.S. representative that the situation is serious. He also gave a realistic account of the challenges and sounded genuinely concerned about how to go about resolving the urgent problems. Watch the video via PBS:
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the Department of Defense’s primary military liaison with FEMA, toured the damage in Puerto Rico for the first time Saturday during a helicopter ride from San Juan to Ceiba. After landing at a hangar in Ceiba with no power, internet or cellular service, Buchanan spoke with the PBS NewsHour’s Monica Villamizar.
“Sometimes we don’t know what’s going to happen until the storm actually hits, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Buchanan said.
The trip occurred hours after President Donald Trump criticized San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz for “poor leadership” after she spoke of devastation and “horror” on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and pleaded for help and support from the government. “We are dying here,” she said during a news conference Friday.
Buchanan said the worst problems are on the interior of the island. “And it’s because of roads. The roads are not clear on the outside of the island, and we’re slowly working our way in. But we obviously need to get all the roads cleared so we can get supplies to people who desperately need them.”