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Adam @Khanoisseur
, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
In a report to Congress, the Puerto Rican government said documents show that 1,427 more deaths occurred in the four months after the storm than "normal," compared with deaths that occurred the previous four years.
2. Puerto Rico’s shoddy infrastructure that couldn’t withstand the hurricane and quality of post hurricane response may have contributed to more deaths than “usual” but we may never really know how many people died “directly as a result” of the storms
3. In 2014 the Puerto Rican government-owned electric company was $9 billion in debt; it filed for bankruptcy under provisions set by Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, a law signed by Obama in 2016. This triggered life-endangering safety cutbacks.
4. “Cutbacks in tree pruning left 16,000 miles of power lines across the island vulnerable. Inspections, maintenance and repairs were scaled back. Up to 30% of the utility's employees retired or migrated to US mainland and the utility had trouble hiring experienced replacements.”
5. The neglect led to massive, chronic electric grid failures, including a three-day blackout in September 2016 - one year before Maria hit - underscoring the system’s fragility, a warning to Obama and Trump admins that Puerto Rico was unable to cope with a larger contingency.
6. So as we ask why the death toll was so high in Puerto Rico following the hurricanes last year, let’s not overlook the warning signs Congress, Obama and Trump admins, and the Puerto Rican government ignored, putting millions of US citizens in clear and present danger.
7. A recent $3.8 billion federal effort may not be enough to offset decades of mismanagement. Officials say Puerto Rico's public electrical authority is almost certain to collapse again when the next hurricane hits this island of 3.3 million people. chicagotribune.com/news/nationwor…
8. "Politicians approved cheap power for well-connected corporations. By the time Maria hit, wooden poles were rotted, transmission towers had rusted through."

After Maria, thousands of new poles and hundreds of miles of power lines rushed from US mainland at a steep premium.
9. Will there ever be a comprehensive Congressional investigation into the tragedy of Puerto Rico, which was decades in the making? Probably not, because it will implicate Congress itself, US (Clinton/GW Bush/Obama/Trump) admins, and successive Puerto Rican governments.
10. Meanwhile, taxpayers will continue to foot the bill for governments' corruption and neglect. cnn.com/2018/09/12/us/…
Months after this $18.5 billion from HUD to Puerto Rico was announced, not a single comprehensive analysis by professional journalists on how this taxpayer money is being spent
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