NYC Mayor Adams visits Puerto Rico in Hurricane Fiona aftermath

Mayor Adams traveled to Puerto Rico on Sunday, where he met with local officials and visited disaster sites in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.

“People lost everything that they own,” Adams said in a video posted to Twitter. “Puerto Rico is the sixth borough of New York City. We mean it.”

City staffers will stay in the island territory to help residents “fill out the FEMA documents” for relief and “ensure that we’re part of the overall solution to this,” he added.

Eleven staffers from the city’s Office of Emergency Management were set to stay in Puerto Rico to conduct building inspections, help residents complete requests for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and remove trees that fell during the hurricane, according to the mayor’s office. Another staffer was deployed until Tuesday to help faith leaders from city nonprofits distribute hundreds of bags of groceries, the mayor’s office said.

It did not immediately answer an inquiry asking how long the 11 staffers would stay in Puerto Rico.

Adams’ day started with a meeting with Puerto Rico’s Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, according to the mayor’s public schedule. After that, he met a FEMA official and his local counterpart, San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan), Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Council members Rafael Salamanca and Marjorie Velazquez (D-Bronx) joined the mayor on the trip.

“We did provide a lot of hope for the people here just by his presence, by our presence and giving out the basic necessities that people need from food to water,” Richards told the Daily News on Sunday night.

The delegation toured Cabo Rojo, much of which has lacked power since Hurricane Fiona struck last Sunday. About half of the island was still without electricity through the weekend, leading many to question why it was taking so long to restore power. One in five Puerto Ricans still lack water service.

Puerto Rico was yet to recover from the devastation of 2017′s Hurricane Maria when Fiona blasted the island with winds of up to 85 mph.

A preliminary estimate of the damage was expected within the next two weeks, though the human toll was clear to Richards on Sunday.

“We met individuals who are living off of generators who can’t even power their whole home who are in medical distress,” he said. “The federal government needs to step up and provide maximum benefits.”

Many gas stations and grocery stores remained shut down Sunday, owing to lack of fuel for generators.

Power company officials were unable to predict when electricity will be fully restored.

“[The hurricane] affected our whole infrastructure. We are doing everything we can to fix it,” said Lawrence Kazmierski, senior vice president for power distributor Luma.

Richards, who visited Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Maria, said there’s been “much more presence from” the Federal Emergency Management Agency this time around.

“There’s always more that they can do,” he said. “My biggest concern is always … ensuring that the residents get the maximum benefits.”

Adams and the delegation planned to fly to the Dominican Republic on Sunday night, with their return to New York City expected Monday.

With News Wire Services

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