>> Nearly two months after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico, much of the infrastructure in the island is still badly damaged. This 20-foot sinkhole, which swallowed four car lanes, is just one of the hundreds of roads torn apart by Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico correspondent Nicholas Brown.>> This is just one of 3500 estimated sinkholes or damaged areas to roads on the island.
So when you look at how much it's taking just to repair this one sinkhole, you have to multiply that throughout a 100-mile island to really get a sense of how big a job this is going to be.>> Puerto Rico was already in trouble when Maria hit on September 20th, the strongest storm to strike the island in almost a century.
Its economy had been in recession for a decade and a whooping $72 billion in debt had pushed the island into bankruptcy.>> Puerto Rico's pre-existing financial crisis is a huge part of the reason that there is so much work to do now in the first place. A more stable place wouldn't have had the infrastructural damage that Puerto Rico had.
So the power grid, the government says, it's been completely decimated. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It lost 80% of its generation capacity, that alone is a result of years of inadequate maintenance and outdated plants. The same can be said on a slightly lesser level for roads and the water system.
>> The task of rebuilding is made that much harder by a shortage of trucks. With much of the population cut off from power and communication, the island has been forced to divert hundreds of trucks and drivers to deliver supplies to desperate citizens. This has left few vehicles to transport the equipment and materials needed to fix infrastructure.
So far, Puerto Rico has been given $42.5 million in emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration. This may seem like a lot, but it's not, as repairing a single sinkhole can cost up to $1 million.