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Puerto Rico Gets Lashed by Fiona

Once again the frailty of infrastructure is exposed.

Tropical Storm Fiona that finally became a hurricane took aim at Puerto Rico over the weekend. Once again, this island territory was in the bullseye of a storm and took the brunt of rain and wind.

Thirty inches of rain has caused flooding and will likely cause landslides on the island. One of the biggest impacts was when the entire power grid went offline. Hurricane Maria in 2017 decimated the power grid of the island, causing just about the entire electrical structure for the island to need to be completely rebuilt.

When it comes to humans against nature, nature has a way of winning that battle. It should be a reminder to all of us that what we build can look feeble in the face of what Mother Earth can throw against us.

Just a reminder that in Jackson, Miss., the water is flowing again, but many residents don’t trust the system enough to actually drink the water. Given their past experiences, it is not a bad assumption.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.