Nearly 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico are without power and more than 40 percent without clean water after Hurricane Maria hit as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20. It was the strongest hurricane to hit the island in nearly a century.
Frontier Airlines, Oskar Blues Brewery and the CAN’d Aid Foundation are part of the relief effort. Thursday, Frontier Airlines started loading the cargo holds of planes with 91,200 cans of safe drinking water canned by Oskar Blues Brewery and provided by CAN’d Aid Foundation to fly to Puerto Rico. The first cases of water are expected to land in San Juan, Puerto Rico beginning Friday afternoon. Frontier expects to continue to deliver water via flights that depart from Denver International Airport and connect to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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“We’re fortunate to be in a position to help,” stated Dale Katechis, Founder of CAN’d Aid Foundation and Oskar Blues Brewery. “When towns and areas are hit hard by natural or man made disasters, water supplies are often the first thing to go. And when we can jump in to provide safe drinking water quickly – we stand on the gas. In Puerto Rico, we had no immediate way to help, but with generous support from Frontier Airlines, we’re now able to lend a hand, FAST, because it’s the right thing do and because we can.”
Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority officials stated that potable water won’t be available island-wide until power is restored, which could take months.
Relief efforts have been slowed due to the remote location of the island. With limited access to the airport, Frontier Airlines will have one flight daily to deliver safe drinking water and bring back stranded travelers.
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“With the hard to reach nature of Puerto Rico we are in a unique position where we can partner with Oskar Blues and CAN’d Aid to provide quick delivery of safe and clean drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Frontier Spokesman Richard Oliver. “With our ability to fly in relief supplies we’re able to provide some much needed relief to people in need.”
Oskar Blues Brewery stopped beer production several times this month to can safe drinking water for Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico. CAN’d Aid Foundation and Oskar Blues Brewery have distributed 433,000 cans of clean drinking water to those in need after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Since its inception, the CAN’d Aid Foundation has helped ship nearly 1 Million cans of water to communities in need of safe drinking water such as Flint, MI, South Carolina and Louisiana.