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Governor Bryan Parlays With New FEMA Administrator At Government House

CHRISTIANSTED — Governor Albert Bryan met at Government House in St. Croix on Friday with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, who was sworn-in in April by Congress following President Biden’s nomination to the position.

The Governor congratulated Administrator Criswell on her new position and told her he is looking forward to working with the Biden Administration on the U.S. Virgin Islands’ continued recovery from the 2017 hurricanes.

During Friday morning’s meeting, Governor Bryan and Administrator Criswell discussed the status of the reconstruction of Paul E. Joseph Stadium.

Paul E. Joseph Stadium still is undergoing FEMA’s engineering review, and the administrator said she is aware of the importance of the project and the critical role the stadium plays in the future economy of St. Croix.

Governor Bryan also thanked the administrator for freeing up more than $400 million for the STEP Program to pay vendors and contractors for recovery work they did.

Other topics Governor Bryan and Administrator Criswell discussed include the waiver of the Territory’s 10% match for federal funds; the various concerns regarding the Territory’s hospitals; the status of school reconstruction; and upgrading and the wastewater and drinking water systems in the Territory.

Governor Bryan and Administrator Criswell also discussed the Territory’s preparedness efforts for the 2021 hurricane season and strategic plans for operating shelters in the COVID environment. 

Office of Disaster Recovery Director Adrienne Williams-Octalien, VITEMA Director Daryl Jaschen, Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion and FEMA Acting Recovery Director for the Virgin Islands John Covell also attended Friday’s meeting.

Administrator Criswell is a former commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management department who was confirmed by Congress to head FEMA as the 12th administrator on April 22, 2021, and she was sworn-in April 26.

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VI Free Press

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