Congressman Neal visits Puerto Rico to learn about challenges of rebuilding

(Office of Representative Richard E. Neal)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal returned from Hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico Saturday and held a briefing about what he experienced.

Rep. Richard Neal, a Democrat from Springfield was part of the state’s delegation that visited the island to provide aid and learn about the challenges of rebuilding.
Congressman Neal visited a hospital on the island, was briefed by FEMA on the state of disaster recovery and took a helicopter tour to survey the damage of the island’s Eastern coast.

“That’s the biggest issue, power,” said Neal. “When you consider that 114 days in, only 60 percent of people have had power restored and it won’t be until March when about 95 percent of people will have power restored.”

Puerto Rico was hit by two major hurricanes back to back — Irma, then Maria. Today, 40% of the island still has no power and the murder rate has doubled.