Hurricane Maria
Ardent Mills closed its Molinos de Puerto Rico flour mill on Sept. 19 in advance of the hurricane, which struck the island on Sept. 20.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO — About a week after closing in advance of Hurricane Maria, Ardent Mills community mill in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is back in partial operation.

The Molinos de Puerto Rico flour mill, which has a capacity of 10,000 cwts of flour production, closed on Sept. 19 in anticipation of the hurricane, which hit the island on Sept. 20.

The mill has been in partial operation since mid-week, the company said, and is keeping pace with customer orders.

“Diesel fuel and water constraints are presenting challenges as the facility currently is running on generator power, a limiting operational condition,” the company said. “Plant leaders are pleased to report that all team members are accounted for and safe.”

Although there are no reported injuries, many of its team members have experienced significant losses to homes and property. Ardent Mills has started a hurricane recovery fund with a company match of $20,000.

According to a Sept. 26 U.S. Pentagon report, 44% of the island is still without fresh water. About 80% of the island’s electricity transmission lines and 100% of distribution lines to homes and businesses are damaged.

There have been widespread shortages of basic necessities such as food and water, and distribution of these items has been difficult due to the level of damage. U.S. President Donald Trump on Sept. 28 waived the Jones Act, which officials had said was making relief efforts difficult.