CHICAGO – Catastrophic flooding that has devastated Puerto Rico from Hurricane Fiona is expected to leave behind three feet of rain.
Five years ago, the aftermath was much worse when a Category 5 hurricane hit the island packing winds of 165 miles per hour.
“Senior citizen homes and hospitals are the first ones affected. They have generators but they only go so far in Puerto Rico,” said Billy Ocasio, CEO of The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture in Chicago.
Ocasio says since then, not much has changed.
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“I don’t think a lot of the US has ever seen us as full US citizens,” said Ocasio. “We pay our taxes, and we just ask that the federal government step up.”
Ocasio rallied with other Chicagoans in 2017 to raise relief efforts for the US Island.
“We want Chicagoans to donate just as you did before. I think all of Chicagoans came together in the rebuilding of Puerto Rico the last time,” said Ocasio.
“The most important thing is monetary relief and water. FEMA has to step up and rebuild the infrastructure grid of Puerto Rico. This is what came out of the last hurricane and it still has not been done. The federal government said the money was going to be there and five years later.”
Governor JB Pritzker issuing a statement saying the following.
“We stand in solidarity with our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico, who are without power and experiencing severe flooding and mudslides due to Hurricane Fiona…Illinois is not in the business of turning away those in need, and we will continue to welcome these travelers and any Puerto Rican climate refugees seeking a safe place to land with all our available resources.”