TRENTON – Senator Nellie Pou and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro will travel to Puerto Rico today to tour and survey impacted areas of Humacao and Utuado, along with members of the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.
“The people of Puerto Rico are still dealing with the massive devastation that Hurricane Maria left behind,” said Senator Pou (D- Bergen/Passaic). “New Jersey is deeply connected to Puerto Rico and I believe it is critical that we provide support to our fellow citizens as they work to recover from this natural disaster. The need is great and we must continue to make sure we help in the recovery. The people of Puerto Rico are not only our fellow citizens, but to many of us, they are family.”
The legislators, with members of American Red Cross New Jersey Region, will leave for Puerto Rico Friday, January 26, to survey the devastation left by Maria just over five months ago. The Red Cross is also delivering solar panels and generators in the area of Humacao. They will be returning on Sunday, January 28.
The New York Times and several news organizations conducted independent analyses and found that the number of deaths traceable to the storm was probably far higher than the official count of 64. On December 18, 2017, the New York Times analysis of Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau report found that 1,052 more people had died across the island in the 42 days after Maria struck compared to the same time period in 2015 and 2016.
In December, Senator Pou and Assemblywoman Chaparro traveled to the island, along with Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, and Nilsa Cruz-Perez, and Governor-elect Phil Murphy, First Lady Tammy Murphy, community leaders and other elected officials from New Jersey to survey the devastation and recovery efforts on the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
“We have not forgotten our family and friends in Puerto Rico,” said Assemblywoman Chaparro (D-Hudson). “I say they are family and friends, not because I have family and friends in Puerto Rico, but because so many of us here in New Jersey can say the same. Our commitment is firm and resolute. Puerto Rico will rebuild and we will do whatever we can to assist.”