Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, members of the National Guard and others headed to Puerto Rico Friday morning to bring supplies and assistance to the island recently devastated by Hurricane Maria.
Standing in front of an airplane Friday, Cuomo said that this mission will be the first of multiple to provide recovery help to the island after it saw the strongest storm in nearly 90 years. The U.S. territory is currently without power and alsos saw record flood levels from several rivers.
“[Puerto Rico] Gov. Ricardo Rossello put in an official request last night for assistance,” Cuomo said. “But he didn’t have to ask, because in New York, we are family with the Puerto Rican community, and with family you don’t have to ask for help.”
New York state is home to the largest Puerto Rican community outside of the island, Cuomo said.
“I was explaining to my daughter, when you’re born and raised in New York City, the Puerto Rican community is such a large part of New York, you literally grow up together,” Cuomo said. “You know each other's families. That’s the New York sentiments when it comes to Puerto Rico.”
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Puerto Rican community in their time of need https://t.co/m6VO0hLC0p— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 22, 2017
The mission will bring down emergency supplies as dictated by Gov. Rossello, including several large-scale generators to power facilities like hospitals and communication centers, 36,000 bottles of water, 10,000 ready-to-eat meals, 3,000 canned goods, 1,400 cots, blankets and pillows, and more.
Cuomo and his team are also traveling with engineers in the power supply industry to do a reconnaissance of the power system and figure out the fastest way to get it back up, as well as 60 members of the National Guard.
“It’s not going to be a short recovery time, there’s a long road ahead,” Cuomo said. “What we want the people of Puerto Rico to know is that they’re not alone. They have a lot of people who care about them, and out of all the supplies we’re bringing today, probably the most important thing we’ll be bringing is the love of 19 million New Yorkers.”