NJ Sending Emergency Crews And Troops To Puerto Rico

Sep 29, 2017

Governor Chris Christie

Governor Chris Christie says New Jersey is sending more than 11-hudred emergency responders and National Guard troops to Puerto Rico to help with the recovery from Hurricane Maria.

It’s a big deployment, it’s the biggest that we’ve had in my time as governor, but I think the desperate nature of the situation in Puerto Rico merits that level of response.”

State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes says 600 law enforcement and emergency responders from New Jersey will relieve police in Puerto Rico who are struggling with their families to deal with the devastation caused by the storm.

"We understand that they are down by as much as 70 percent on their police force. So now that the water has drained out, there is a dire need for security services on the island."

Governor Christie says 500 National Guard troops will help with logistics to get food, water, and other supplies from the island's port distributed to the people.

"So many of the roadways have been completely washed away that when they start to move in a particular direction, the road is gone. So that's why us sending down some of our folks who have expertise from Sandy in the National Guard in rebuilding roadways along with folks from the private sector from an engineering perspective will be helpful as well."  

The governor says two New Jersey National Guard armories will warehouse donations of supplies for Puerto Rico that are collected through a partnership of government and community organizations.

“The armories will not accept any items dropped off by individuals. So pleased don’t start driving to one of these armories and start dropping off a couple of cases of water of paper goods of things like that. That will not be helpful. We want to do it through organizations to make if more orderly and more effective.”

Christie says the New Jersey deployment its largest since Hurricane Katrina. He says the state's costs will be reimbursed by the federal government.