For miles, cell phones deliver one frustrating message: "No Service". The roads are blocked, and there are long lines for food, water and fuel, he says.
Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, commander of U.S. Army North, was set to arrive Thursday to assess the situation so that the military can provide the highest possible level of support, Northern Command spokesman John Cornelio said.
People are only now starting to understand the extent of the damage brought by Hurricane Maria. People in need of medical care are mainly being transferred to open hospitals in the island's northeast, and those in need of critical care are being flown off the island.
In the nearby fishing town of Catano, authorities said they would open a distribution point over the weekend to hand out food and water, almost two weeks after the hurricane hit.
Duke gave an overview of the situation in Puerto Rico and the US response, during a meeting with reporters in Washington on September 28. "FEMA's not going to forget about the needs that they have and we're going to work with our people back in our field office in San Juan about what we're going to do". But you don't talk about the politics when people don't have enough food or water.
After spending the weekend tweeting about the NFL and why its owners should force players to stand during the National Anthem, President Donald Trump has spent this week playing catchup on the still-unfolding humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
FEMA officials said Thursday that a million meals and 2 million liters of fresh water had been distributed in Puerto Rico and 2 million more meals and 2 million more liters of water were on the way.
The island's power grid is not expected to come back online for months and government officials are still working to clear roads and put shipping ports and airports back into operation to distribute resources across the island.
"The waivers make sense in instances where there's a need and a demand and we've exhausted all possible USA flagged resources", said Klaus Luhta, vice president of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots, a union that represents crews on USA -flagged vessels. At least 16 people have died as a result of the storm, the government has said. Trump is set to visit Puerto Rico on next Tuesday - almost two weeks after Maria made landfall.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CNN) - Elaine Duke, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, on Friday sought to clarify her comments that the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was a "good news story" as she traveled to Puerto Rico amid scrutiny of the administration's response.
But actually getting those items to the millions of people who need them is a whole new battle.
"She said that?" asked an incredulous Cruz during an interview with CNN. Then he added: "I can tell you this: We have done an incredible job considering there is absolutely nothing to work with".
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, like Trump a Republican, had earlier called for the appointment of a single authority to oversee all hurricane relief efforts, and said the Defense Department should mostly be in charge. "Given the breadth of power outages across the islands, we're deploying portable generators as quickly as allowed", AT&T said.
"It's not just a matter of rebuilding a few homes", Montano says. This is there's a truckload of stuff that can't be taken to people story. "There's nothing that could happen faster". "And every disaster is different".
While many lawmakers from both parties said the Jones Act waiver would speed assistance for Puerto Rico and reduce costs, USA shipping executives - including Crowley's - and maritime unions warned that the bottleneck was on the island, not on the seas.
"The federal government has responded to our petitions to treat this as an unprecedented event and they are doing so", Rossello said.