Hartford ready to welcome families from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona

City of Hartford ready to help Hurricane Fiona victims
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Hurricane Fiona has knocked out power to most of the island of Puerto Rico.

Many families in Connecticut who have loved ones on the island are struggling to get in touch with people in Puerto Rico.

The mayor said the city of Hartford is ready to welcome families from Puerto Rico.

About 40-percent of city residents are Puerto Rican.

Help will also be available on the state level.

“Well I was born in Mayaguez and Mayaguez is kind of where the central eye of the hurricane went through and the devastation there is pretty bad,” said Julio Casiano, Deputy District Director at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Julio is proud of his Puerto Rican roots. It’s devastating for him to see how Hurricane Fiona has ravaged the island.

“We haven’t had contact with my relatives there, we’ve been trying to reach out to them. We’re talking cousins, aunts,” said Julio.

Many families in Hartford have strong ties to Puerto Rico and are watching developments out of the U.S. territory very closely.

The capital city has a longstanding tradition of welcoming families from Puerto Rico when natural disasters hit.

“Our school system, as always, stands ready to welcome kids if they are coming to our community, especially if kids are coming to live with family members here in Hartford,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz said the state is ready to help out wherever necessary.

“We are a welcoming community and we will do whatever we can to support Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as they are struggling,” said Bysiewicz.

Hurricane Fiona comes on the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria. Connecticut pitched in then and plans on doing so once again.

“We had a lot of families that would come to Hartford, come to Meriden come to our Latino communities because their kids needed to go to school. So, we’re ready to open our doors for our anyone who needs to come here,” Bysiewicz said.

Community members are getting in touch with local organizations to see where exactly help is needed and how resources can be deployed to the island.

“We need to kind of right now get together and figure out how quickly we can get money and clothing out to the island,” said Julio.

Americares is one of the organizations helping folks affected by Hurricane Fiona. If you’re interested in donating, click here.