Local leaders rally together for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona

Local leaders in Springfield are coming together to support Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona hit the island on Sunday.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA. (WGGB/WSHM) -Puerto Rico is reeling after Hurricane Fiona caused havoc with heavy flooding and power outages across the island.

“We’re trying to determine what the needs are in Puerto Rico at the moment. We have been in contact with officials on the island you know offering our support,” said State Representative Orlando Ramos.

Local leaders in Springfield are coming together to support Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona hit the island on Sunday.

State Representative Orlando Ramos told Western Mass News, that he is working with Representative Carlos Gonzalez and Senator Adam Gomez to localize relief efforts.

“It’s hard to tell right now what they’re going to be needing from us because it is still raining out there, they haven’t really had a chance to really assess the damage… we’re just on standby right now you know they’re continuing their rescue efforts,” said Ramos.

Ramos told us about 60,000 Puerto Ricans live in Springfield. He encourages locals who have family members in Puerto Rico to reach out to them to make sure they are okay.

“The city of Springfield has a large Puerto Rican population and there are a lot of people in the city that are worried about their families and their loved ones and that’s why it’s important for us to have that direct communication with the Puerto Rican government,” said Ramos.

Springfield Mayor Domenico Sarno also released a statement on Monday, welcoming anyone from Puerto Rico who may need a place to stay in the coming months - as the city did back in 2017.

“As my administration did before for our brothers and sisters of Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria, by taking on most of our fellow Americans in need in the state, we stand prepared to do it again,” said Mayor Sarno.

Ramos told us he is heartbroken to see the damage on his island, 5 years after Category 5 Hurricane Maria hit.

“It’s sad because we barely had a chance to recover from Hurricane Maria from a few years ago and now another one,” said Ramos.