How New England Is Assisting Puerto Rico In Aftermath Of Hurricanes

Oct 25, 2017

Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from two damaging storms that have devastated the island territory.

It was initially clipped by Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane whose eye passed just north of the island. Then Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mile per hour, made landfall on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

U.S. aid to the island commonwealth has been slow in reaching those affected by these storms.

Vermont Emergency Management announced yesterday that the state "is sending 86 compact radio access network units to Puerto Rico to support communications systems."

Vermont has also sent National Guard staffers to help out in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And Vermonters have contributed individually as well, with private donations to aid organizations and companies donating their goods and services.

VPR's partners in the New England News Collaborative have also been following aid efforts to Puerto Rico, and Jeff Cohen, news director at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut, has just returned from a reporting trip to the island.

Cohen spoke with Vermont Edition to update us on what he's seen. You can find WNPR's reporting from Puerto Rico here.

Listen to the complete interview with Cohen from Vermont Edition above. Broadcast live on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 during the noon hour; rebroadcast during the 7 p.m. hour.