NYC Mayor Adams returns from Puerto Rico as plans for Hurricane Fiona aid ramp up

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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New York City Mayor Eric Adams is expected to discuss his trip to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Laure Glassberg has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York lawmakers are calling for more federal aid to help with Puerto Rico's recovery in aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

It comes as New York City Mayor Eric Adams held news conference to discuss his trip to the island, as well as to the Dominican Republic, as relief efforts in the disaster zones get underway.

Adams described the work he and his team are doing to help facilitate assistance from FEMA for Puerto Rico and SOMOS and other groups for the Dominican Republic.

"I think it's imperative to speak with people on the ground and specifically ask, 'How do we help in the scope of our abilities to help?'" Adams said. "It's not up to me to dictate to countries on what I'm going to do. It's up to me to ask, 'What do you need? How can I help?'"

Watch: Mayor press conference

The need is great, as residents need help with basic life necessities like electricity and fresh water.

Many businesses and hospitals in Puerto Rico are struggling to stay open, relying on generators for power.

Nearly half the island remains the dark after the storm.

Right now, there's a team of about 15 people on the island from New York City providing assistance, guidance and recommendations on recovery.

In New York, lawmakers are asking for nearly $4 billion in nutrition assistance and disaster relief and recovery.

The team that traveled with Mayor Adams spoke about how it plans to move forward to help out the island.

"We are going to see and look at the structure there," Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol said. "How can we help get power there? Is there a generator we can help work with FEMA or Puerto Rico Emergency Management to expedite getting power up to that hospital?"

New York state and New Jersey have also sent manpower to help assist, including dozens of state troopers.

"If you make the wrong move here, it could affect not only the power lines but also the soil and create more hazardous conditions," said Jose Torres, with the Department of Parks.

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