Damage in Puerto Rico strains relief efforts by agencies

National Guard personnel offer evacuation to a Toa Ville resident after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agencies are grappling with the vast scale of the disaster in Puerto Rico left by Hurricane Maria, the third major storm to strike the U.S. in less than a month.

Three days after the massive hurricane crossed the U.S. territory, towns in Puerto Rico remain without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says meals and water and supplies are being delivered to the island and that some airports are reopening. But it’s not clear how quickly relief will reach people. Fully restoring power and communications is expected to take some time.

The director of public affairs for FEMA, William Booher, says the recovery is going to be “a long and frustrating process for everybody” because of the tremendous damage on the island.

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