Biden vows US won't walk away from storm-struck Puerto Rico

President Joe Biden speaks about Hurricane Fiona during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 2 office in New York, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

SAN SALVADOR, Puerto Rico (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday the full force of the federal government is ready to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastation of Hurricane Fiona even as Bermuda and Canada's Atlantic provinces were preparing for a major blast from the Category 4 storm.

Speaking at a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials in New York, Biden said, "We're all in this together."

Biden noted that hundreds of FEMA and other federal officials are already on the ground in Puerto Rico, where Fiona caused an island-wide blackout.

More than 60% of power customers remained without energy on Thursday, and a third of customers were without water — and local officials admitted they could not say when service would be fully restored.

Biden said his message to the people of Puerto Rico who are still hurting from Hurricane Maria five years ago is, "We're with you.