New York City Mayor Eric Adams is travelling to Puerto Rico Sunday to tour the damage left by Hurricane Fiona, as the recovery continues on both the U.S. territory and also in the Dominican Republic
And to help with those efforts, members of the New York and New Jersey state police departments are now in Puerto Rico, where half of the island is still without power.
The responders lined up at the airport in San Juan, prepared to lend a hand wherever they’re needed.
The 75 troopers from the New Jersey and 50 from New York stand ready, willing and able to answer the call from their law enforcement partners.
And many of them have been there before.
It’s trip number three for Lieutenant Vito Flora, once for Hurricane Maria, another two years ago for the earthquakes, and now for Fiona.
“It definitely breaks our heart, and that is why most of us come out here,” he said. “We want to help out, and we are compassionate about that. We know that everybody on this island has endured devastation throughout the years.”
“They are resilient and genuinely appreciative of the work that we are doing out there,” Major Chris Demaise said. “And they know that us standing traffic posts 12 hours a day in the hot sun is not easy.”
They say their efforts are welcomed and appreciated.
“It’s a very warm reception,” Major Harold Litardo said. “It’s all cultural, right? So it’s heartfelt for me. I couldn’t speak any higher of Puerto Rico. I was here in 2017. I’m here now, and I’ll come back if I have to again.”
The Puerto Rican police give instructions to the state troopers on where to go and what they’ll be doing.
They’re heading to four major Puerto Rican cities, including Ponce, Mayaguez, Arecibo and Aguadilla, and the local police on the island say their efforts are greatly needed and deeply appreciated.”
Luis Diaz is a captain with the Puerto Rican police. He’s also a New York native, born and raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
“When I see New York state troopers and when I see NYPD help us, we get excited, very excited,” he said. “Even New Jersey too. They are welcome too.”
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