The federal response to Hurricane Maria is under scrutiny again after photos show what appear to be millions of water bottles meant for victims of the storm still sitting on a runway in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The study accounted for Puerto Ricans who succumbed to the stifling heat and other aftereffects of the storm and had not been previously counted in official figures.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority was under bankruptcy protection and some parts of the island that lost power during Hurricane Irma hadn't had electricity restored before Maria hit.
"I'm confident the response in 2017 was good and I'm confident this response will be good", Federal Emergency Management Agency Associate Administrator Jeff Byard told reporters during a briefing Tuesday.
The mayor of San Juan, the capital of the U.S. commonwealth of more than three million people, was outraged.
The administration's efforts in Puerto Rico received widespread criticism, and he battled with Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Numerous nearly 3,000 deaths due to Maria were attributed to power failures and a lack of access to healthcare and clean water which makes the massive stockpile of water bottles all the more puzzling and frustrating. "We're able", Trump said. "Shame on President Trump".
Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office released a report that revealed FEMA had been so overwhelmed with storms by the time Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico that more than half of the workers it was deploying to disasters were known to be unqualified for the jobs they were doing in the field.
A day earlier, the president praised the response to the series of storms.
Federal forecasters expect the storm to make landfall on Friday with 130 mile-per-hour (215 kph) winds and massive waves, with rains taking a heavy toll inland. We want you safe.
"My teams knew about it but first they will say, "no we cannot use them, ' months later water was no good for human consumption", he tweeted".
The GSA are working with FEMA and the island's department of health to perform water tests on what they got from the federal government, the GSA said.
While the federal response to storms in Texas and Florida a year ago was "A-plus", Trump said, "the best job we did was Puerto Rico, but no one would understand that".
"The historical relationship between Puerto Rico and Washington is unfair and unAmerican", Rosselló said in a statement.