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Puerto Rico’s Official Hurricane Death Toll Was 55. So Why Do Researchers Say It’s 500 Or More?

November 29, 2017 It’s widely believed the Puerto Rican government is underestimating the number of people who died as a consequence of Hurricane Maria, which barreled through the island Sept. 20. The official count, 55 deaths, has been disproven by several (link in Spanish) media outlets. Their reporting shows the government’s list left...

Hurricane Maria Has Made Puerto Rico the Land of Opportunity for Solar Power

November 13, 2017 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Seven weeks after hurricane Maria, the traffic lights are still down in San Juan. The narrow, cobbled streets of the city’s historic center, one of the island’s top tourist attractions, turn pitch black as soon as the sun sets. With appliances useless during the blackout,...

Puerto Rico Is a Textbook Example of How Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Spread

October 22, 2017 The disaster in Puerto Rico wrought by Hurricane Maria is still unraveling one month after it hit. Most of the island remains without electricity. A third of residents still don’t have running water, while those who do can’t count on what comes out of the faucet being clean. Meanwhile, pools...

Puerto Rico is Still a Disaster Zone, Three Weeks After Hurricane Maria

October 16, 2017 Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. Three weeks later, many residents still live like it’s the day after the storm made landfall. More than 90% of the island remains without electricity, and roughly a third without water service, according to local authorities. Nearly half of the US...

Puerto Rico Is Still a Disaster Zone, Three Weeks After Hurricane Maria

October 16, 2017 Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20. Three weeks later, many residents still live like it’s the day after the storm made landfall. More than 90 percent of the island remains without electricity, and roughly a third without water service, according to local authorities. Nearly half of the...

How Hurricane Maria Will Be More Costly For Puerto Rico Than Harvey Was For Texas

September 28, 2017 Hurricane Maria was somewhat less of a weather monster than the two big storms that preceded it. Harvey dumped record amounts of rain over parts of Texas, and Irma’s tropical-storm force winds covered an area wider than the Florida peninsula. In Puerto Rico, Maria’s devastation has been multiplied by the...

The Trump Administration is Hiding Data About How Its Crackdown on Illegal Immigration is Going

September 13, 2017 For a president who vowed to keep the nation informed about the threats posed by illegal immigration, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically tight-lipped about what he’s portrayed as a key strategy against it. When undocumented people are jailed for other crimes, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regularly asks police...

New Worries for Federal Fleet Managers: Rising Gas Prices, Assuming Gas Is Available

August 31, 2017 The effects of Hurricane Harvey are already showing up in U.S. gas prices. The record-setting storm barreled through the production chain that makes it possible for drivers all over the country to fuel up, from offshore oil platforms to gasoline pipelines. On Wednesday, nearly 20 percent of oil production in...

A Three-Day-Old Crowdsourcing Website Is Helping Volunteers Save Lives in Hurricane-Hit Houston

August 30, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On the night of Sunday, Aug. 28, Matthew Marchetti was one of thousands of Houstonians feeling powerless as their city drowned in tropical storm Harvey’s deluge. By Monday morning, the 27-year-old developer, sitting in his leaky office, had slapped together an online mapping tool to track stranded residents. A day...

Trump’s Multibillion-Dollar Border Wall Wouldn’t Stop This $5,000 Drone

August 22, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Donald Trump is still struggling to find someone willing to pay for the southern border wall he wants to keep immigrants and drugs out of the US. In the meantime, smugglers have already developed methods to overcome it. Earlier this month, border patrol agents intercepted a methamphetamine shipment that...