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Cuomo returns from Puerto Rico, calls it "much worse" than on TV

The day-long trip included tours on the ground and in the air, allowing the governor to see flooding, damaged homes and an island in devastation.
Governor Cuomo witnessed damage during a helicopter tour over Puerto Rico. (Image via Twitter/@NYGovCuomo)
Governor Cuomo witnessed damage during a helicopter tour over Puerto Rico. (Image via Twitter/@NYGovCuomo)

After a last-minute trip to Puerto Rico to survey Hurricane Maria’s damage, Governor Cuomo returned to the states on Friday night, flying into Kennedy Airport.

The day-long trip included tours on the ground and in the air, allowing the governor to see flooding, damaged homes and an island in devastation in the wake of the hurricane, which reached Category 3 after making landfall.

"My opinion is, in person, it is much worse than appears on the TV reports," Cuomo said at a press conference upon his return.

According to Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, the whole power grid is down, leaving all residents without power, and restoring electricity to the area could take months.

However, Cuomo says he sent a crew to help.                                                          

"We left an assessment team on the island who is going to be working on getting the power up and running," Cuomo vowed. "That is probably the most significant infrastructure system that's been damaged."

Also on the trip with Cuomo was Rep. Nydia Velasquez, who has strong ties to the island, and said the visit prepared her to advocate for those affected.

"As a Puerto Rican, I just want to say that going there today gave me the strength to go back to Washington and make the case on behalf of 3.5 million American citizens," Velasquez said.