Puerto Rico Is Getting a Surge of Aid, Governor Says

Puerto Rico Is Getting a Surge of Aid, Governor Says

Puerto Rico Is Getting a Surge of Aid, Governor Says

All 3.4 million residents in the US territory have been without power since Hurricane Maria devastated the island on September 20.

Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will serve as honorary co-chairmen.

Democratic state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez of Boston, who has family members in Puerto Rico, will serve as the honorary vice chairman of the fund's advisory committee.

Baker said Puerto Rico had accepted the offer for the unit to help support satellite-based data and mobile communications on the hurricane-ravaged island, where communication lines have been severely damaged. Case in point: While thousands of shipping containers are already in the Port of San Juan, there are not enough truck drivers to haul the supplies, not enough fuel to gas up the trucks they do have, and a large portion of the island's roads are impassable.

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The fund is a partnership involving the city, state and Boston Foundation together with the Latino Legacy Fund and the Alliance for Puerto Rico. One-third of funds raised will be distributed immediately. "In many cases, that is the fastest and best way we can help them, and this fund is created to do just that". Donations will be sent by way of the governor's New York Empire State Relief & Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico.

Gov. Cuomo announced earlier this week that NY state was sending additional personnel and supplies to help Puerto Rico's recovery effort. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is monitoring that site and will put in offers whenever Massachusetts is able to help.

Baker said Friday that MA is home to one of the largest communities of Puerto Rican Americans in the country. 60 Soldiers and 4 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation Regiment of the New York National Guard have begun their deployment from Army Aviation Support Facility #1 in Ronkonkoma to bolster aerial movement of relief supplies and personnel on the island. Most recently, the federal government waived the act following hurricanes Harvey and Irma to allow cheaper and more readily-available foreign vessels to supply goods to devastated areas.

Before that, the emergency supplies that have been shipped to San Juan weren't filtering out to the rest of the island.

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