New York City has officially joined the relief efforts in Puerto Rico days after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the U.S. territory.
The city deployed a team of three emergency management specialists on Tuesday to the ravaged island to help with getting power back to locals and assess the extent of the damage, Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.
“Their job will be to assess the damage to infrastructure and essential services caused by heavy rains, floods and wind and they will continue to work alongside our local partners and FEMA to make sure support is getting exactly where it is needed,” said Zachary Iscol, the commissioner of NYC Emergency Management.
What You Need To Know
- A team of three emergency management specialists was deployed on Tuesday to ravaged island
- A second team of 11 specialists is set to go to the island on Thursday
- The city is looking to focus on getting power back for local residents and assessing the damage before committing any aid dollars
A second team will head to island on Thursday and aim to assist smaller communities struggling with basic necessities and downed trees. Fiona first hit the island over the weekend covering the area with heavy rainfall leading to a massive blackout and flooding.
Fiona has also battered the Dominican Republic with heavy rainfall and powerful winds.
Adams said the aid is about sending a message of solidarity to the large population of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans who make New York City home.
“New York stands with our brothers and sisters of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and all affected countries and we’re here to help,” said Adams.
As of right now, the city has no current plans to send aid dollars. The mayor said the teams on the island must first determine the needs of the locals before they deploy any further help.
“We need to get on the ground, like his team, automatically and right away to identify exactly what we’re doing, what we’re dealing with, where should resources go and what type of resources should go,” added the mayor.
Adams said that he had a planned phone call with the Mayor of San Juan later on Wednesday to coordinate relief efforts.
Earlier this week, Gov. Kathy Hochul had announced that Spanish-speaking state troopers would be mobilized as well, and officials emphasize they will help with long-term recovery efforts.