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Tag: Hurricane Maria

The content below has been tagged with the term “Hurricane Maria.”


  • A hillside with debris and trees snapped in half like twigs.

    Aid in the shade

    August 9, 2018 | 4 minute readIn September 2017, Puerto Rico was already reeling from Hurricane Irma, which had doused it with torrential rains and caused widespread damage. Then, two weeks later, Hurricane Maria roared through, killing hundreds of residents, wiping out buildings, entire landscapes of vegetation, and practically the entire electrical grid. It was the worst natural disaster on record for the U.S. commonwealth island, which is still recovering from the Category 4 storm. Learn more...

    A portion of Jose Roig’s coffee plantation immediately after Hurricane Maria struck. Photo by USFWS.

  • A building built on steel footings ready for hurricane force winds.

    Service facilities built to withstand nature’s worst

    November 9, 2017 | 5 minute readHurricanes are never welcome, but they can prompt changes in buildings to make them better, stronger, and more capable of handling high water and even higher winds. Learn more...

    The rebuilt Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge visitor's center built to withstand future storms.

  • Fallen trees crushed many of the Puerto Rican parrot breeding cages.

    Partners in chaos

    October 25, 2017 | 6 minute readSan Juan, Puerto Rico – The Jeep was pretty new, but battered already. It was dusty, and someone had stolen the spare wheel from the rear. Flying debris knocked a hole in the top, too. But it rolled, and rolled well. It also had a spot on the dash for the “Captain’s Log,” the name the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Jon Wallace gave to a dog-eared notebook. As the Service’s incident commander during three weeks of relief and rescue work in Puerto Rico recently, he used it to keep a tally on what had been done, what still needed attention. Learn more...

    Shredded trees at El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

  • Flags blow in the breeze at the peak of a small mountain.

    A plea, and an answer

    October 19, 2017 | 5 minute readHurricane Maria had hardly passed over the small island of Vieques, which is about 10 miles east of Puerto Rico. The land, normally in the full green of early fall, was brown, trees stripped of leaves. The town of Vieques was dark, the houses in the hills just as dark. Learn more...

    The wind catches flags at a resort outside San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.

  • Three green parrots standing on a perch in a cage.

    Soaring past danger

    October 17, 2017 | 6 minute readEl Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico – They’re old, parenthood behind them, but that hardly means the two senior citizens serve no purpose. They like to talk. Others, sometimes, show up to listen. People here call them Egida, literally, a “house for the elderly.” The Spanish-to-English translation describing their function is not precise, but it’s close enough. The Puerto Rican parrots sit in a cage and call to their wild peers. Learn more...

    Jafet Velez, a Service biologist, checks in on Puerto Rican parrots in their aviary home. Despite damage from Hurricane Maria, “We are confident we will have an awesome 2018 breeding season,” he says. Photo by Mark Davis, USFWS.


  • A biologist looks out at the destruction and fallen vegetation outside the gate of the aviary.

    A tale of two photos

    October 6, 2017 | 3 minute readTo appreciate how one hurricane gave Puerto Rico only a glancing blow, while the next delivered a hit that left the island prone, you need only look at the two photos. Puerto Rican parrot aviary at Rio Grande after Hurricane Irma. Photo by USFWS. Puerto Rican parrot aviary at Rio Grande after Hurricane Maria. Photo by USFWS. The photos depict the same place, the road leading into Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest. Read the full story...

    Looking out at Aviary gate towards the facility entrance. Photo by USFWS.

  • A colorful radar map.

    Rain coming

    October 4, 2017 | 2 minute readA storm is brewing off the coast of Nicaragua that could drench the Florida Keys, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service meteorologist said Wednesday. At worst, the storm could develop into a “minimal hurricane” that could make landfall late this weekend around Louisiana, said meteorologist Kevin Scasny. He shared the forecast with other Service employees during a morning conference call focusing on cleanup efforts in the Caribbean following Hurricane Maria. Read the full story...

    Weather radar for the Eastern Atlantic Ocean.

  • The Caribbean offices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are temporarily closed due to Hurricane Maria

    September 29, 2017 | 1 minute readFor any Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Energy, etc. issues please contact Robert Tawes, Chief, division of Environmental Review at or by phone at 404-679-7142 For any issues regarding recovery of Endangered Species or Coastal Barrier Resource Act please contact Aaron Valenta, Chief, Division of Recovery and Restoration at or by phone at 404-679-4144 If for any reason you can not reach them you can also try Victoria Davis, Chief of Staff for Ecological Services at victoria_davis@fws. Read the full story...

  • A man wearing a red cross vest points towards a U.S. Coast Guard boat.

    Everyone OK

    September 28, 2017 | 2 minute readThe going has been hard, the searches exhausting, but the efforts of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service workers dispatched to Puerto have borne fruit: All of the Service’s 61 employees on the crippled island are OK. That was the highlight of Thursday’s conference call on the status of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, the category 4 hurricane that smashed into the U.S. territory last week. Crews have tracked down all the Service workers, some cut off from communications and travel following the storm’s vicious passage. Read the full story...

    Coast Guard continues hurricane response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse, USCG.

  • Service teams land in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria

    September 27, 2017 | 1 minute readA dozen more U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staffers have landed in Puerto Rico to help with Hurricane Maria recovery, joining teams already on the island. But they face daunting challenges. The U.S. territory still has almost no electricity, and fresh drinking water is a big problem for many, Service employees in Puerto Rico said Wednesday on a conference call. Fuel is extremely hard to get, which makes operations more difficult. Read the full story...

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