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Here's our latest on Vega Baja:
Update 11/30/2017 Initial assessment 11/1 - an interval of 29 days.
Schools: 15 of 25 schools are open. There were no schools open at initial assessment. This is significant change.
Communication: 8 of 34 sites are still out of repair (outage rate of 23.5%). This is significant change from 56% outage rate at initial assessment. There was a mobile cell deployed in this area. There is no indication that it has been moved. Mayor reports cell service is improved but still spotty.
Medical Access: Status PR shows one hospital open but indicates no electricity, one dialysis center open, and 13 EPAP pharmacies open. The AEE map shows the hospital as connected to the electrical grid.
Water: Voluntary agencies, Red Cross, and RSA pickups have continued to deliver bottled water almost on a daily basis. Potable water service is inconsistent and limited to inland neighborhoods. Oasis/water distribution is in the center of town.
Electricity: Status PR AEE map show 18 sites with electrical connection. They include a hospital, shopping market, municipal administration buildings, water facilities, pfizer pharmaceuticals, and some residences. Mayor's statement on 11/29: 90% of community has no electricity.
Food: Food and water have been delivered throughout the month of November. In addition, a Stop & Go site has supplied hot meals to residents. 6 supermarkets and at least one restaurant is open.
Roads: No road closures are found on Google Maps for Vega Baja.
Items of note: The municipality is taking applications for municipal employees. 100 Section 8 housing vouchers available. Application on Dec. 15. Editorial comment: - this is HUGE! So far, the municipality has collected 47,000 yards of vegetative material, and it will probably pass 100,000 yards. For comparison, Hurricane Irma yielded 10,000 yards. Basketball and beach volleyball tryouts are coming soon. Proctor and Gamble donated equipment for a free community laundry that opened Nov 21. Neighborhoods are assigned wash days, and 45 families will be able to do laundry each day.
Per Mayor Morales official gov't page it has been very slow progress complying with all the FEMA requirements to receive Fed assistance. As of Nov 29th:
-90% of town is still without electricity
-Potable water service is inconsistent and limited to the more inland neighborhoods
Oasis/Water distribution is limited to town center
- Cell service has improved but is spotty in places.
- Food is still being distributed to the neediest of cases.
- Mayor secured partnership with Proctor & Gamble to set up a free Community Laundromat in the center of town
- not all schools are operating. Those hardest hit in coastal areas are still closed due to infrastructure and road conditions.
- Bridge to/from Ciales is still washed away.