- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 28, 2017

Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont, Colorado, is working with Denver-based Frontier Airlines to deliver 91,200 cans of drinking water provided by the CAN‘d Aid Foundation to Puerto Rico, the brewery announced Thursday. The first deliveries to the island ravaged by Hurricane Maria are expected to land in San Juan Friday afternoon.

“We’re fortunate to be in a position to help,” Dale Katechis, founder of Oskar Blues Brewery and the CAN‘d Aid Foundation, said in a statement. “When towns and areas are hit hard by natural or man made disasters, water supplies are often the first thing to go. And when we can jump in to provide safe drinking water quickly, we stand on the gas.”

Estimates say that 44 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is currently without safe drinking water after Maria struck the island Sept. 20. Power loss remains rampant, and basic services are all but unknown. According to the brewery, Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority officials said potable water won’t be available islandwide until power is restored, which could take months.

“In Puerto Rico, we had no immediate way to help, but with generous support from Frontier Airlines, we’re now able to lend a hand, FAST, because it’s the right thing do and because we can,” Mr. Katechis said.

Frontier will continue flying the canned water from Denver International Airport to San Juan on its one daily flight — a much reduced schedule given limited access to San Juan’s airport. On return flights the carrier will ferry back people stranded on the U.S. island territory.

“With the hard-to-reach nature of Puerto Rico, we are in a unique position where we can partner with Oskar Blues and CAN‘d Aid to provide quick delivery of safe and clean drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver.

Oskar Blues — makers of Dale’s Pale Ale — halted beer production several times in September to can drinking water to deliver to hurricane-ravaged areas of Texas, Florida and now Puerto Rico. So far the water partnership has distributed 433,000 cans of water as part of the relief effort.

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