Jersey City donations stuck in United States with no way to Puerto Rico

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Darla Miles speaks to volunteers in Jersey City.

There is an outpouring of generosity from people in the tristate to their fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.

But sadly, folks are being turned away with their goods because there's no way to get the donations to the island.

Donated goods sit at the San Juan Airport because there are no trucks to deliver them to the people.

It is a tragedy what's happening there.

"We were all systems go for Friday to have our shipment go to Kennedy Airport via FEMA and they just canceled on us and we're on hold," said Daniel Rivera, Jersey City Council Member At Large.

On hold in Jersey City are two 53-foot trailers with more than 100,000 pounds of water and supplies.

"Completely unacceptable. I mean there are people in Puerto Rico that are in trouble, they are devastated, and they need these resources ASAP," Rivera said.

This is the tip of the iceberg for the handful of non-profit organizations and regular old New Jersey residents who have been laboring to try to fill every single need of Puerto Ricans who lost every single thing in Hurricane Maria.

"We've been here for the past four days, 18-hour days, 16-hour days, we have been religiously here," Rivera said.

Gathering donations isn't the problem, but getting them there is.

In Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon, activists practically begged the U.S. government move supplies just sitting at airports and port.

"What we've learned, as predicted, the situation is worsening. It's already bad enough that a week later," a volunteer said.

"You have a family-owned trucking company and you are volunteering your trucks to take it to Puerto Rico and they are still not getting it," Eyewitness News Reporter Darla Miles asked.

100 percent accurate," said Bryan Hermann, of Hermann Transportation.

Hermann, who is also a Jersey City firefighter, wants the U.S. to issue a cargo waiver to the Jones Act, so he can transport donations like he did after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"The federal government relaxed some of the DOT laws for relief aid going to the affected areas," Hermann said.

"I'm very optimistic that this is going to go out, and when it goes out we're just going to send it out, we're not going to stop," Rivera said.

They're not stopping. Even late into Wednesday night, the sorting will continue until they get the greenlight from FEMA or they are able to put these supplies on a cargo ship.
Related Topics:
weatherpuerto ricodonationshurricane mariaJersey CityHudson County
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