“The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has deployed more than 1,100 members of its workforce to help with hurricane relief efforts in some of the hardest-hit areas.
About 500 employees were dispatched to assist with screening operations at impacted airports, while another 660 TSA workers volunteered to serve on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Surge
Capacity Force” to help deliver aid directly to storm survivors.
At Cyril King Airport in St. Thomas, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma, the TSA has had to use alternative screening methods — such as canine teams and hand-held metal detectors — to screen passengers for charter flights.
And in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the airport was so crippled by Hurricane Maria that Federal Aviation Administration technicians had to use chainsaws to clear a path in order to reach radar sites and restore the radar technology.
“I am proud and humbled by the spirit and dedication to service exhibited by the TSA workforce. Several TSA officers even walked miles from their homes in St. Thomas to reach the airport,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a statement.
“Make no mistake, TSA stands ready to help reopen impacted airports following Hurricane Maria, and I am very gratified by the continued commitment to mission demonstrated by TSA employees across the country,” he said.
The TSA volunteers came from 20 airports around the country. The agency vowed to continue using local personnel and volunteers to help airports and airlines recover from the disaster.