I've been lurking on this forum for years and I find it somewhat weird that this thread is the one to make me sign up.
First a little about me. I'm from Puerto Rico and divide my time between there and Miami. Have properties in both places, hence my interest in following these storms closely.
I was on the ground during Maria and had my street flooded with over two feet of water. Luckily I was aware of the possibility of flooding and built my house 24" above street level, so got away with just a few inches of water inside.
In PR have also been through Hugo, Georges, Hortense and in Miami I was here for Irma, but I missed Andrew.
The focus at this point should be on helping those folks in Ft. Myers and the surrounding area. From experience, the devastation of a direct hit is overwhelming and it is difficult to get in the clean up and rebuilding stage when the job seems so big.
Which leads me to the main reason I decided to post:
Y'all are wrong about PR. Sure there is mismanagement and some governmental fraud, but in the case of Maria I doubt it was (at least initially) intentional. When government bureaucrats are tasked with a difficult task that they are not really equipped to handle they tend to make all sorts of rookie mistakes - like hiring companies that make big promises but aren't up to the job.
The destruction of the power grid after Maria was such that the correct fix would have been to raze and rebuild as opposed to just fix. Since that would have kept the populace without power even longer - I think they just chose to put band-aids on an aging, beat-up infrastructure. I now have two power poles in front of my house, an old broken pre-Maria one and a new replacement. Ideally the old beat up one would have been removed, but the phone and internet lines are still attached to that one. Its just bad management or incompetence, not necessarily corruption.
Not doing things right the first tie means that now you have nice, shiny new power poles interspersed with old rotting wood ones and when Fiona showed up, whatever survived Maria got beat up.
I imagine in Fort Myers they will replace *entire* electrical grids, not just bits and pieces. Why? Because there is more access to parts, more access to crews and more money. If they do a piece-meal repair, then the next storm will just take down whatever was damaged by Ian but still workable...
PR is not a third world country but it is trying hard to become a second world one (I say that only partly in jest). There is corruption, but I attribute only 10% of the post Maria mismanagement to that particular problem; there were many others: Initially a very slow response from the Federal Government, the difficulty of bringing parts and labor in due to airports and ship terminals being down and of course, being an island in the middle of the ocean. Add to those difficulties a lot of posturing from politicians using the disaster to gain political capital (R vs D as well as PNP vs PPD and every permutation of those four parties working against each other) and it was just a total cluster*.
Prepare for the political crap-fest of the two parties blaming each other if/when problems start to arise in the Ft Myers recovery.
As for PR not choosing to become a state, I could write a whole book about that one that would include the story about how the PR PPD party did everything it could while it held power in the beginning of the modern PR constitution era to disincentivize Puertorricans from wanting statehood to how the Republican Party is currently doing whatever it can to avoid a majority Democratic state from joining the union. Let's just say propaganda works.
So - yeah, I find the whole "PR is a third world, corrupt country that doesn't have the common sense to become a state and we (Americans) just send them money out of the goodness of our hearts" thing a little insulting, but I'll chalk it up to lack of information and propaganda.
Anyway - hope this is my first and last post, because as much as I thought Ian was headed to Ft Myers since Monday, I'm not a meteorologist and have absolutely no valid reason to have thought that other that the visual of that long NE to SW trail of clouds across the FL peninsula with super clear air over Tampa through the weekend. That line of clouds pretty much pointed like an arrow in the direction Ian headed - but I don't know the technical reason why, so can't really contribute in any meaningful way.