Gov. Cuomo visits Puerto Rico for fifth time amid hurricane rebuild

Posted: Updated:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico Monday to speak on his continued commitment to reconstruction after hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the island.

The trip marks the governor’s fifth trip to the island.

Puerto Ricans are still feeling the aftermath of the storms just under a year later. A new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine last month estimates that there were more than 4,000 deaths caused by the storms.

RELATED: Cuomo: NY to provide more help to Puerto Rico

“The question is, ‘How many people did not need to die if there was an appropriate response?” said Cuomo, who went on to say that an apology is owed to the people of Puerto Rico.

While FEMA reports that more than 95 percent of electricity is currently being generated in the region and 88 percent of retail gas stations are now operational, the governor says recovery work is far from over and calls the federal government’s response “anemic."

Cuomo says the island is entering a new phase that no longer requires emergency response but a rebuilding effort.

He says that the effort will require the help of students, union workers and nonprofit organizations.

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