Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the federal government will ramp up its response to Hurricane Maria-ravaged Puerto Rico as a shortage of food and water continues.
Rubio held a press conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon after meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González to discuss recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. The senator surveyed the battered island Monday and called on the U.S. government to step up its response.
Rubio stressed because the commonwealth was in a perilous state prior to Maria, the federal government cannot follow the conventional steps it usually does with states dealing with natural disasters.
"This is going to require a higher intensity of response from federal agencies," Rubio said.
The senator said logistically, there are many challenges on the island due to impassable roads; restoration shipments will need to be delivered via barge or aircraft due to the severely damaged infrastructure.
"This is a very unique event, at a time when the island was already facing significant challenges," Rubio said.
He said in the next 48 to 72 hours, FEMA, Department of Defense, FCC and Department of Energy will join forces with local officials in Puerto Rico to escalate relief efforts on the island.
The Cuban-American lawmaker expressed his gratitude to his colleagues for their desire to help Puerto Rico.