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NY to Send Police and Other Aid to Puerto Rico Amid Hurricane Fiona

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Governor Kathy Hochul, joined by Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray, and State Director of Operations Kathryn Garcia, provides an update today on New York's Hurricane Fiona efforts to aid the people of Puerto Rico from her offices in New York City, Monday September 19, 2022.
Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

NY to Send Police and Other Aid to Puerto Rico Amid Hurricane Fiona

About a hundred Spanish-speaking police officers from New York are heading down to Puerto Rico this week to help deal with the devastation caused by Hurricane Fiona.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the deployment at a press briefing on Monday. The island has been slammed with high winds and heavy rain from Hurricane Fiona over the past 24 hours.

“The island is drenched and because of this heavy volume," said Hochul. "The National Weather Service predicts that there will be catastrophic flooding that will occur over the next three days with potential for landslides and mudslides, particularly in the southern and eastern portions of Puerto Rico.”

Hochul spoke with the governor of Puerto Rico, who requested Spanish-speaking police officers from New York. The state is also sending donations of water, baby formula and medical supplies as well as drones to help survey the damage.

New York’s Commissioner of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Jackie Bray, also spoke at Monday’s briefing about the state’s aid strategy for Puerto Rico.

“The goal, always, when we’re responding to natural disasters of any kind, no matter where it is is to help people get back to life as quickly as possible, and that almost always means keeping people where they are in as safe conditions as we can.”

As of Monday, more than a million people in Puerto Rico were without power due to storm damage. Hurricane Fiona is expected to bring flash flooding and catastrophic damage to the Dominican Republic in the coming days.

This story originally reported by Emily Russell for North Country Public Radio