FEMA Denies Help With Processing the Backlog of Bodies

Issue #37: HUD approves $8.2B for recovery, a solar company misled its clients and more...

HUD Approves Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Plan, Allows $8.2 Billion to Aid Rebuilding Effort

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finally gave approval for a $8.2 billion recovery package for Puerto Rico, funds that had been approved by Congress months ago. (Kate Santich and Bianca Padró Ocasio / Orlando Sentinel)

FEMA Denies Puerto Rico Request for Help Processing Backlog of Bodies

Puerto Rico’s morgue has a severe backlog, a years-long systemic issue compounded by the high death toll from Hurricane Maria. Families report waiting weeks or months to claim a loved one’s remains, in some cases after decomposition has set in. Gov. Ricardo Roselló requested from FEMA additional support to address the many issues the morgue faces, but the request was denied by FEMA, which cited a lack of “an immediate disaster-related threat.” The PROMESA board will however allow the governor to use $1.5 million to address the backlog. (Camilo Montoya-Galvez and David Begnaud / CBS)

'Abusive' Contracts. Defunct Solar Panels After Hurricane Maria. Texas Company Hit With More than 400 Complaints, Investigation Finds

Sunnova Energy Corp. is alleged to have misled clients on solar panel systems and to have tricked clients into entering costly arrangements they could not afford. Others say the panels didn’t work after Hurricane Maria. The company denies the allegations. (Eliván Martínez Mercado and Rick Jervis / USA Today)

Fiscal Board Invalidates Several Puerto Rico Spending Bills

PROMESA has repealed 24 budget resolutions totally over $30 million because they do not comply with the spending plan. (Eva Lloréns Vélez / Caribbean Business)

Florida Woman Took $840G in False Claims Meant for Hurricane Maria Disaster Victims, Court Docs Claim

The woman’s company was subcontracted to repair homes in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. She and three others allegedly submitted false invoices. (Kassidy Vavra / New York Daily News)

Can Solar Power Keep the Lights On When the Next Hurricane Hits?

Journalist Soledad O’Brien meets with residents of Puerto Rico who are embracing the idea of autogestión – or self-sufficiency – by installing solar panels so they no longer have to rely on the government. (Soledad O’Brien / Matter of Fact TV)

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