Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico will be already in an 11-year economic recession. at which point which must start rebuilding after Hurricane Maria left the island knocked out flat.

The island was completely without electricity Wednesday.

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“which will be total devastation,” said Carlos Mercader, a spokesman for Puerto Rico’s governor. “Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same.”

The total extent of the damage isn’t known yet, yet the visuals are telling: Roofs blown off, flooded streets, shattered windows, debris along with remnants of palm trees strewn about. which was the strongest hurricane to hit the island since 1932.

Estimates of the financial toll are likely to start coming in over coming days. yet the cost tag will be large.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Congress along with private insurance firms will take on the lion’s share of which cost. yet Puerto Rico’s cash-strapped local government will have to take on some costs, too.

“We don’t know what the aftermath of the hurricanes will be, yet there will clearly be federal help to rebuild the infrastructure of both the Virgin Islands along with Puerto Rico,” says John Mousseau, an expert on Puerto Rican debt at Cumberland Advisors, a firm based in Florida.

puerto rico maria devastation

Puerto Rico will be already suffering through an epic economic crisis. There’s no way which could foot the entire bill itself. In May, which filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

The government owes $74 billion to bondholders along with which hasn’t made a payment in over a year. which will be trying to work out a payment schedule with an oversight board installed by Congress. which past summer, the island’s government along with the oversight board bickered over what the board called a lack of progress in a debt payment plan.

The island suffers coming from severely high unemployment — more than 10% — along with an exodus of residents who have fled to the mainland U.S. for better job opportunities. Over 400,000 residents have left the island since 2004 — 89,000 last year alone, according to the Pew Research Center. The current population will be about 3.4 million.

There will be a ray of wish inside the gloom. Some experts say Maria’s aftermath will be an opportunity for Puerto Rico to rebuild roads, bridges along with various other infrastructure which desperately needed a makeover.

Plus, the recovery along with reconstruction efforts could create much-needed jobs on the island.

“which’s almost like wiping the slate clean,” says Cate Long, founder of the Puerto Rico Clearinghouse, an independent research firm focused on the island’s debts. “All the rebuilding will boost the economy.”

sy88pgw (fresh York) First published September 20, 2017: 6:13 PM ET