20,000 pallets of water meant for hurricane victims found near unused Puerto Rico runway

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CEIBA, Puerto Rico – The stockpile of bottled water stretches down an unused runway in Ceiba. Case after case, pallet piled upon pallet, blue tarps and plastic glinting in the sun.

The emergency supplies were brought in by FEMA in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which smashed the island and left its residents without power, without roofs and without running water.

Federal officials commandeered the area in the far east of the island last fall as a staging ground, collecting the water and containers full of blue tarps to patch damaged and destroyed roofs in surrounding neighborhoods.

And there the supplies sat. And sat. Storm survivors were collecting spring water from the mountains for cooking and bathing, even with the threat of disease that brought.

And apparently, the supplies were just left there, lost perhaps in poor communication and collaboration.

Ottmar Chavez, now administrator of Puerto Rico’s General Services Administration, said FEMA reported that it had about 20,000 pallets of bottled water in excess in May this year, before Chavez was appointed.

His agency claimed the water, intending to deliver it where it was needed.

But after about 700 pallets had been distributed, complaints began to come in about the water’s foul smell and taste, Chavez said in a statement.

“In light of this, we have been in contact with FEMA and the Department of Health to test the water inventory received by the federal agency. We are going to return those waters,” he said.

The mayor of Ceiba, Angel Cruz Ramos, told CNN he’s grateful for the generosity, but believes that too much water was delivered at the wrong time. “The time and heat has made it bad,” he added.

CBS News first reported the water stockpile on Tuesday, the same day President Trump said his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico was “an incredible, unsung success.”

Puerto Rico now says 2,975 people died on the island because of the storm.


  • Cathy Todd Radabaugh

    well it was delivered could nobody there make sure it was distributed Trump sent a lot of help seems like their own officials did nothing !

  • Jim Martin

    What’s really unbelievable is that CNN Jr. put this story up and it clearly shows their liberal darling mayor is as incompetent as the President says she is.

  • Jeff Woehrle

    As we saw with New Orleans, a liberal populace will not only demand that water be given to them, they will also need someone to drink it for them.

  • youaderp

    3 million bottles ruined there when a hurricane is hitting the Carolinas soon. Wonder if they will have the water they need…

    • youaderp

      Leaching – the sun heats up the bottles and it gets into the water.
      Plastic water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is made by mixing dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) or terephthalic acid (TA) and ethylene glycol (EG), which is derived from crude oil and natural gas.
      You never, ever, leave water indirect heat or sun. It is supposed to be stored in a cool, dry place.

      • youaderp

        Who’s lying? Chemistry? Lol.
        What happens when you heat up oil, sir? Anyone with a modern-day 9th-grade education can tell you.
        Next, you’ll tell me that the earth is flat.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        The water’s been there since right after the storm. The locals didn’t distribute it when it should have been. It may be bad now but I’m sure it wasn’t when it was flown in. When I said they were lying, I meant they were caught not giving the water out when they should have and now they’re claiming it was bad when it was delivered. Regardless, you can go screw yourself.

      • youaderp

        You said ‘they’re lying’ with no further context to a comment of “how does water go bad”.
        I’m sorry that you cannot use English properly. Then get upset with people who don’t understand to what you are referring to other then the comment of “how does water go bad”.

    • Ernest Shaffer

      If left sitting in the sun with fairly high temperatures the water can take on a plastic taste from the plastic bottles—Still safe to drink—Well not according to the democrat in charge of distributing it–Paid a visit to the island since the hurricane and found the electrical system thruout the island vastly improved–thanks to Trump and U S taxpayers— over a visit thruout the island a year before the hurricane—The island is controlled by democrats and is as corrupt as most sheathole third world countries with the electrical system owned by a corrupt democrat government who get 50 million to improve the system and when it gets to the nuts and bolts—about a hundred thousand left–A perfect example of what Ca will look like in another 10 years under democrat leadership

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