22.09.2022
House appropriators eye as much as $200M for Jackson water crisis

House appropriators are considering sending as much as $200 million to address the drinking water crisis in Jackson, Miss., as part of the stop-gap spending measure to fund the government past Sept. 30.

Documents obtained by POLITICO show draft language that would deliver the money directly from EPA to the city, bypassing the Republican-controlled state government. Democrats, including Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), have accused the state of withholding resources from the majority Black state capital.

The numbers: Thompson told POLITICO he is pushing for $200 million in emergency funds for a first phase to address the dilapidated water infrastructure in Jackson.

Jackson’s 150,000 residents were without drinking water for weeks this summer after flooding on the Pearl River caused the system’s water pressure to drop precipitously. The city has also issued a series of boil water orders throughout the year due to dangerous water quality.

Jackson’s water system, which was built in 1914, is in a dire state of disrepair, according to a 2020 EPA review. The total cost for upgrading it is unclear, but estimates have ranged as high as $1 billion. The city has not completed a long-term plan for addressing its problems. Thompson said $200 million is “what appears to be reasonable” now, in the absence of a plan.

Mississippi’s two Republican senators, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, have both voiced support for including additional funds for Jackson’s water system in the appropriations bill. Earlier this month, Hyde-Smith criticized the Biden administration for not including money for Jackson in its funding request.

Neither of their offices responded to a request for comment on whether they support the $200 million figure.

The details: The draft legislative language would not send the money through the federal government’s primary drinking water funding mechanism, EPA’s state revolving fund, but rather through a separate granting authority. That would allow EPA to work directly with the city, bypassing the state government.

The language also allows the funds to be used for more than just for capital projects, where federal water infrastructure dollars are typically directed. It could also be used to relieve the city of prior water debt and to pay for operations and maintenance — line items that federal funding is not otherwise allowed to cover.

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  • 5 минут назад 28.09.2022Energy & Environment
    Hurricane Ian knocks out power in Cuba

    HAVANA — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday and left 1 million people without electricity, then churned on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters amid expectations it would strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm.

    Ian made landfall in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, and took steps to protect crops in the nation’s main tobacco-growing region. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Cuba suffered “significant wind and storm surge impacts” when the hurricane struck with top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kmh).

    Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 130 mph (209 kph) approaching the southwest coast of Florida, where 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.

    Tropical storm-force winds were expected across the southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane-force Wednesday — when the eye was predicted to make landfall. With tropical storm-force winds extending 140 miles (225 kilometers) from Ian’s center, damage was expected across a wide area of Florida.

    Ian’s forward movement was expected to slow over the Gulf, enabling the hurricane to grow wider and stronger. The hurricane warning expanded Tuesday to cover roughly 220 miles (350 kilometers) of Florida’s west coast. The area includes Fort Myers as well as Tampa and St. Petersburg, which could get their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

    As the storm’s center moved into the Gulf, scenes of destruction emerged in Cuba’s world-famous tobacco belt. The owner of the premier Finca Robaina cigar producer posted photos on social media of wood-and-thatch roofs smashed to the ground, greenhouses in rubble and wagons overturned.

    “It was apocalyptic, a real disaster,” wrote Hirochi Robaina, grandson of the operation’s founder.

    Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and others fled the area ahead of the arrival of Ian, which caused flooding, damaged houses and toppled trees. Authorities were still assessing the damage, although no fatalities had been reported by Tuesday night.

    State media said Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the affected region.

    Cuba’s Meteorology Institute said the city of Pinar del Río was in worst of the hurricane for an hour and a half.

    “Being in the hurricane was terrible for me, but we are here alive,” said Pinar del Rio resident Yusimí Palacios, who asked authorities for a roof and a mattress.

    At the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration was sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida and sought to assure mayors in the storm’s path that Washington will meet their needs. He urged residents to heed to local officials’ orders.

    “Your safety is more important than anything,” he said.

    White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden spoke later Tuesday evening with DeSantis on federal steps to help Florida prepare for the storm and both committed to close coordination.

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  • 2 часа, 5 минут назад 28.09.2022Energy & Environment
    News The Buckshee

    Florida’s densely populated, low-lying Gulf Coast offers a warning for other communities where development has expanded into territory vulnerable to climate-linked disasters like Hurricane Ian.

    The Category 3 hurricane, projected to make landfall as early as Wednesday, is aiming toward a stretch of coast south of Tampa Bay where condo buildings and single-family homes crowd barrier islands and inland communities vulnerable to flooding. Along with Ian’s dangerous winds and the risk of flash floods, a special worry is the coast’s susceptibility to storm surge — a phenomenon that scientists say climate change has worsened.

    “It’s No. 1 on everybody’s list,” said Albert Slap, president of Boca Raton, Fla.-based firm Coastal Risk Consulting. “The backbone of our economy is where people live and work. What Mother Nature is putting out to us is different — we’re not living in our parents’ climate anymore.”

    The National Hurricane Center warned Tuesday that Ian could bring as much as 12 feet of storm surge to a wide stretch of shoreline south of Tampa Bay, including Sarasota and Charlotte counties — as well as 4 to 6 feet along the bay itself, where cities such as Tampa and St. Petersburg would be especially vulnerable to catastrophic flooding if a storm struck them directly.

    The hurricane center’s 5 p.m. forecast moved Ian’s potential landfall further south than earlier expected. Still, the meteorologists cautioned that the track remains uncertain and the storm will wreak damage far from its eye. “[A]voiding a large and destructive hurricane for Florida seems very unlikely,” they wrote.

    Tampa Bay in particular embodies a trend that has alarmed climate scientists, disaster experts and emergency planners: People, infrastructure and investment have flocked to coasts that are susceptible to the powerful storms, just as they have to wildfire-prone rural areas of the West.

    The number of climate-fueled disasters in the U.S. with $1 billion or more in damages is surging, federal agencies have noted, a trend that’s largely a factor of more money and investment being poured into the places that are vulnerable to climate risks. Providing safety for people in those communities is vexing for the federal government, which spends billions on disaster recovery annually — and for local governments that stand to gain revenue from development in risky locations.

    Emergency planners have long identified the Tampa Bay region as a place where even a weak hurricane could wreak billions of dollars in damage because of the huge number of homes and other buildings placed on vulnerable ground. Some experts fear that Ian could make those worries real.

    “It is possible that this could break the bank,” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, said of the hurricane. “The question is, ‘What does breaking the bank look like?’”

    Hillsborough County, where Tampa sits, has a more than decade-old post-disaster redevelopment plan that calls for steering building away from places that climate change is making unsuitable for living. Those plans contrast with the current reality: Development continues apace and more people have relocated to Tampa, which, like other Florida communities, became boomtowns as Americans sought sunnier, care-free living during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Even if Ian’s eye avoids a direct strike on Tampa Bay, forecasters say it could create unprecedented storm surge, flooding and damage.

    Tampa Bay, Florida’s second-largest metropolitan area, hasn’t experienced a direct hit from a major hurricane in more than a century. That luck has always figured to run out. Development patterns acted otherwise — nearly a quarter of Tampa’s residents live in the floodplain, according to researchers at the University of South Florida. By 2035, more than 41 percent will live there.

    Tampa-area developers are assessing plans to build affordable housing right in the middle of the 100-year floodplain, which means an area has a 1-percent annual chance of flooding — though climate change is scrambling that probability, said R.J. Lehmann, the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based editor-in-chief of the International Center for Law and Economics, where he focuses on insurance.

    Many private property insurers fled Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, seeing only downsides to operating in such a disaster- and flood-prone state rife with claims litigation. The market is still in tatters three decades later, with six private property insurers going under this year alone. That has pushed more property owners into the state-created Citizens Property Insurance Corp., whose number of homeowners’, commercial and wind-storm policies has doubled to more than 1 million in just two years despite charging rates that many residents consider unaffordable.

    Faced with calls to fix the state’s system, and lessen the risk to taxpayers by keeping insurers in the state, the legislature passed a bill last spring that Democrats condemned as a “giveaway” to insurance companies and Republicans acknowledged was an imperfect solution. More private insurers have failed since then.

    “Rather than address insurance, the priority of the legislature was to engage in all sorts of culture war issues — because apparently being mean to trans kids was more important,” Lehmann said.

    Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis rejected criticism this week of the state’s insurance efforts, including the new legislation. “We put $2 billion into a fund to provide a backstop and kept a lot of them from going out of business, and this is a problem we are going to continue to tackle,” he said during a Monday news conference.

    Citizens spokesperson Michael Peltier said in an email that the insurer is “self-sustaining financially” and “in strong financial position.” But “if we do exhaust our ability to pay claims,” he said, Citizens is “required to levy assessments” first on policyholders and then other Florida insurance customers, such as for auto and homeowner insurance.

    A disaster, however, could spiral across Florida’s economy, said Baughman, who had oversight over Citizens when she worked under former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink — a Democrat — in the early 2000s. Then, she said, the state would pick up the tab for disaster damages. Other insurers could flee. With no personal income tax, Florida would have to rely on income such as sales tax revenue to pay for recovery. Disasters would depress those dollars.

    Meanwhile, any flood damage from Ian would further burden the nation’s flood insurance program, which is already struggling under massive debt it cannot repay.

    Some climate scientists are seeing signals that the effects of climate change could worsen Ian’s destructive potential.

    Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said in an email that the effect of climate change on Ian means it “will certainly rain more,” possibly boosting rainfall by 10 to 15 percent compared with a world without human-driven climate change. Water temperatures are also warmer than average, which could fuel a stronger storm. Climate change has also raised sea levels by a foot in the last century, escalating storm surge, said Gary Mitchum, associate dean at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science.

    “The warmer water means that you can have more evaporation and the evaporation is what fuels the hurricane,” Mitchum said. “Warmer water should make a stronger hurricane.”

    Florida isn’t the only state where natural disasters linked to a warming climate have begun to expose “cracks in the system,” said Alice Hill, who worked on climate resilience in former President Barack Obama’s White House. She pointed to California, which insurers are threatening to leave to avoid covering wildfire damages.

    California’s insurance regulator forced the companies to provide coverage for another year, but insurance policies are already getting expensive. Rising insurance costs could lead to more homeowners going “bare” — dropping coverage altogether — which would expose them and the state to enormous losses in another disaster, Hill said.

    It’s a cycle that’s bound to repeat as climate change flares up in all pockets of the country.

    “Humans may be calculating their risk based on what they’ve seen in the past, not understanding that, by definition, climate change brings even bigger events,” said Hill, who is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “We’ve seen people moving into the areas in the last 10 years that are at greater risk from hurricanes. They like to live near the coast. So it’s an interesting phenomenon. We could do better on many fronts.”

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  • 3 дня назад 25.09.2022Energy & Environment
    Florida emergency declared as Tropical Storm Ian strengthens

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida on Saturday as Tropical Storm Ian gains strength over the Caribbean and is forecast to become a major hurricane within days as it tracks toward the state.

    DeSantis had initially issued the emergency order for two dozen counties on Friday. But he expanded the warning to the entire state, urging residents to prepare for a storm that could lash large swaths of Florida.

    “This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”

    President Joe Biden also declared an emergency for the state, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance to protect lives and property.

    The National Hurricane Center said Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen in the coming days before moving over western Cuba and toward the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of next week. The agency said Floridians should have hurricane plans in place and advised residents to monitor updates of the storm’s evolving path.

    It added that Ian was forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday and a major hurricane by late Monday or early Tuesday. Ian on Saturday evening had top sustained winds of 45 mph as it swirled about 230 miles south of Kingston, Jamaica.

    John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at the Miami-based hurricane center, said it wasn’t yet clear exactly where Ian will hit hardest in Florida. He said the state’s residents should begin preparing for the storm, including gathering supplies for potential power outages.

    “Too soon to say if it’s going to be a southeast Florida problem or a central Florida problem or just the entire state,” he said. “So at this point really the right message for those living in Florida is that you have to watch forecasts and get ready and prepare yourself for potential impact from this tropical system.”

    The governor’s declaration frees up emergency protective funding and activates members of the Florida National Guard, his office said. His order stresses that there is risk for a storm surge, flooding, dangerous winds and other weather conditions throughout the state.

    Elsewhere, powerful post-tropical cyclone Fiona crashed ashore early Saturday in Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Canada region. The storm washed houses into the sea, tore rooftops off others and knocked out power to the vast majority of two Canadian provinces with more than 500,000 customers affected at the storm’s height.

    Fiona had transformed from a hurricane into a post-tropical storm late Friday, but it still had hurricane-strength winds and brought drenching rains and huge waves. There was no confirmation of fatalities or injuries.

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  • 4 дня, 8 часов назад 23.09.2022Energy & Environment
    Manchin’s pitch to energy leaders: IRA without permitting reform a missed opportunity

    PITTSBURGH — Sen. Joe Manchin pitched his permitting reform legislation to a crowd of global energy leaders and private sector executives as essential to achieving the full goals of the Inflation Reduction Act he helped craft.

    The West Virginia Democrat also told the crowd at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum in Pittsburgh that the Senate would start voting on the permitting legislation next week, likely on Tuesday. But the legislation faces stiff opposition in both parties.

    Manchin’s appearance was disrupted by a handful of protesters seemingly opposed to the bill’s provisions aimed to help spur completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which the senator is a staunch advocate of. This followed a protest Thursday against permitting of natural gas infrastructure at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by opponents of efforts to build new fossil fuel infrastructure in the United States.

    Most of the developed world can build and permit infrastructure in a few years, but the U.S. permitting process can take as long as a decade, Manchin said.

    “Why should we be at a disadvantage and can’t compete?” he said. “We know what needs to be done. Why can’t we be able to do it?”

    In the Inflation Reduction Act, “everything’s based on a 10-year window,” Manchin added. “If it takes seven to eight years or longer to permit something, we’re going to miss the window for having those investments come to fruition and you miss that window, then you’re going to have money stranded out there.”

    Democrats’ party-line climate and clean energy spending bill was enacted earlier this year after more than a year of negotiations that were halted more than once by Manchin. The ultimate legislation that took the form of the Inflation Reduction Act included long-term investments in traditional clean energy sources like wind and solar through expanded tax credits, as well as new incentives for energy storage, domestic manufacturing, clean hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

    As part of a deal struck with Democratic leadership to pass the climate bill, Manchin introduced legislation this week attached to a must-pass continuing resolution to reform the federal permitting process.

    The permitting bill would set limits on environmental reviews and require the president to identify energy projects of critical national importance. The legislation also directed agencies to “take all necessary actions” to issue new permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a delayed project that would deliver natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina.

    But the legislation still faces tough odds with opposition from both progressive Democrats and staunch Republicans.

    “By next week, we’ll either have a permitting process that accelerates and lets us compete on a global basis of how we do things and bring things to market or not,” Manchin said.

    He added it will “take an awful lot of heavy lifting” in the next two or three days, but said he is hopeful the legislation will overcome opposition.

    “Everyone wins from this if they’ll look at it,” he said. “It’s not about one person. It should not be about one person. It should be about, ‘Is this good for our country?’”

    Clean energy supporters and Democrats who support the permitting bill have pointed to the climate benefits of the proposal, particularly for expanding transmission lines that will be critical to connecting the expected influx of clean energy projects to the grid.

    Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters Friday the Biden administration supports the deal that it took to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, including the permitting bill.

    “We are very excited at DOE about the potential for streamlined permitting on clean energy projects,” she said. “I think that holds the greatest promise for the goals we’d like to achieve which is, of course, to get to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.”

    The secretary said that “the amount of transmission and certainly clean energy capacity that’s needed” is what keeps her “up at night.” She added the process will need to include identifying public lands and rights-of-way that ease the process for transmission build-out in a way that respects tribal lands and through community input.

    Manchin, for his part, said Friday permitting reform was included in the bipartisan infrastructure law for traditional infrastructure like roads and bridges, and said the same type of reform will now be required for energy infrastructure.

    “If we were able to do bipartisan infrastructure, which is roads and bridges and Internet services, and all the things that we rely on, why can’t we do it on the energy that we deliver to each other? That doesn’t make any sense at all,” Manchin said. “If we get the politics out and get over our hurt feelings next week and do what America does best — lift itself up and continue to lead — I think we have an unbelievable opportunity.”

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  • 5 дней, 6 часов назад 23.09.2022Energy & Environment
    News The Buckshee

    President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs of Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Fiona for the next month.

    The move would expand the federal role just a day after Biden issued a major disaster declaration on Wednesday for Puerto Rico, unlocking additional federal assistance as island residents navigate the aftermath of Fiona. That declaration had made federal funds available to Puerto Rico on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal, emergency protective measures and other services.

    “We’re laser focused on what’s happening to the people of Puerto Rico,” Biden said. The damage of Fiona occurred five years after Hurricane Maria decimated the island’s power, water and health care systems.

    Disaster recovery expenses are often shared, with the federal government paying 75 percent — and in some cases 90 percent — of the cost and state and local entities covering the rest. But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday urged the federal government to cover the costs, noting the Puerto Rican government’s precarious financial position.

    The new authorization will cover 100 percent percent of the costs for debris removal, power and water restoration and shelter and food for the next month.

    “We are with you,” he said. “We are not going to walk away.”

    Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi had asked the Biden administration on Tuesday for an expedited major disaster declaration, two days after Fiona deluged the island with heavy rainfall and knocked out its fragile power grid.

    “I hope you’re satisfied with the response so far,” Biden told the governor during a virtual joint press conference.

    Power outages continue to affect the island, with LUMA Energy, the private company managing Puerto Rico’s grid, saying it has restored power to 420,000, or 28 percent, of its 1.5 million customers as of Wednesday morning.

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  • 6 дней назад 22.09.2022Energy & Environment
    Biden declares major disaster in Puerto Rico to energize Fiona recovery

    President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration on Wednesday for Puerto Rico, unlocking additional federal assistance as island residents navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

    Gov. Pedro Pierluisi had asked the Biden administration on Tuesday for an expedited declaration, two days after Fiona pelted the island with heavy rainfall and knocked out its fragile power grid.

    “This ensures that [Puerto Rico] will have access to additional help from FEMA to recover from the damage caused by” Fiona, the governor said in a tweet Wednesday, thanking the president and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Biden approved an emergency declaration on Sunday. But the major disaster declaration allows FEMA to directly help individuals pay for temporary housing and home repairs, provide low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and pay for other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the storm.

    Federal funds are also now available to Puerto Rico on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency protective measures as well as hazard mitigation measures.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday asked the FEMA administrator to prepare for the federal government to cover all costs for emergency protective services conducted in Puerto Rico rather than asking the territory to bear any of the costs.

    Puerto Rico’s “government doesn’t have the money to lay it out, and the people are suffering and they are our fellow citizens,” Schumer said on Tuesday.

    Power outages continue to affect the island, with LUMA Energy, the private company managing Puerto Rico’s grid, saying it has restored power to 376,000 of its 1.5 million customers as of Wednesday morning.

    “All across Puerto Rico, damage assessment, reenergization, and restoration efforts continue as LUMA, in coordination with [the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority], works around the clock to overcome the damages of Hurricane Fiona,” Abner Gómez, LUMA’s public safety manager, said in a statement Wednesday. “We are continuing critical initial aerial inspections of the island’s transmission system, clearing debris, processing repairs and restoring power to customers as quickly and safely as possible.”

    FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell is on the ground in Puerto Rico assessing damage alongside Pierluisi and coordinating emergency response with the governor’s administration.

    “This storm is personal to FEMA,” she said at a press conference Wednesday. “We have hundreds of Puerto Rican employees and when Fiona impacted the island, she impacted FEMA too.”

    But officials with a group of community organizations across Puerto Rico on Wednesday criticized the pace of the recovery and launched the Fiona Community Response Fund to raise money. They noted that many Puerto Rico residents still do not have basic services, including nearly two-thirds of residents who lack drinking water.

    Floodwaters are still inundating new parts of the island, said José Díaz Pérez, who works with Casa Tallaboeña, a community organization that helps individuals living in neighborhoods in the community of Peñuelas. That community is in the southern part of Puerto Rico where the heaviest rainfall occurred. “Places that never got flooded before are now being flooded,” he said.

    “It’s unbelievable that after Hurricane Maria, after these earthquakes, that we still have these same problems,” he said.

    But Jose Reyes, the Puerto Rico adjutant general who commands the island’s Army and Air National Guard units, said Tuesday that he saw a “really big difference” in government preparations for Hurricane Maria in 2017 compared with those efforts ahead of Fiona.

    “I see a very robust state-federal coordination prior and during the emergency,” he said. “And I see the results because it’s more expedited support for the people of Puerto Rico where it’s needed, more synchronized instead of stepping on somebody’s toes.”

    A feud over whether and how to shift Puerto Rico toward wind, solar and other renewable power is one factor in the years of wrangling over the direction of the territory’s energy policies.

    The American Red Cross said Wednesday during a news conference with FEMA officials that some residents were benefiting from an initiative that installed solar panels and battery systems at about 150 schools at a cost of $40 million after 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Now, after Fiona, more than 50 of these schools are being used as shelters.

    Hurricane Fiona was a Category 1 storm when it dropped about 30 inches of rain on the southern part of Puerto Rico, although it has since intensified to a major Category 4 storm after battering the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos on its way toward Bermuda.

    FEMA Assistant Administrator for Recovery Keith Turi said Wednesday that the agency does not have an official estimate of the damage in Puerto Rico yet. He also warned of “continuing hazards” on the island, including mud and rockslides, additional rainfall and extreme heat.

    Jonathan Porter, chief meteorologist for AccuWeather, said that “the risk of additional slides will continue for the next several days …because the ground has been loosened.” Mudslides can cause major property and additional infrastructure damage and delay aid to people in need in remote areas, he added.

    AccuWeather has projected the economic impact from Fiona on Puerto Rico to be about $10 billion, equivalent to 10 percent of the island’s GDP, an estimate that includes the effects of the power outage, job losses and loss of tourism.

    But “I still don’t think we have a good sense of the impacts in some of the most rural areas,” Porter said.

    Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center is monitoring a tropical wave near the southern Windward Islands that it says has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or stronger as it moves toward the west-northwestward in the next five days. It said the Air Force Reserve was beginning reconnaissance flights of the system, which will aid forecasters trying to assess whether it poses a potential threat to the U.S. or other countries.

    “The good news for Puerto Rico is it looks like the threat from the next system is going to be well south of Puerto Rico,” Porter added.

    Marcia Brown contributed to this report.

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Energy & Environment House appropriators eye as much as $200M for Jackson water crisis