PUERTO RICO

Hartford’s hurricane relief center was where evacuees from Puerto Rico could come to get help: help finding housing, jobs, winter clothing -- whatever supplies or services they needed to restart their lives in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda held a “Rally And Lobby Day for Puerto Rican Families” Wednesday in Hartford. The event was put on at the Capitol to get support for a disaster relief bill proposed in the House of Representatives.

Holyoke Public Schools

Schools districts in Massachusetts that have been educating students recently arrived from Puerto Rico will soon be getting a portion of $15 million in state funding. 

Amarilys De Leon, at right, and her daughter, Mayrangelique Rojas De Leon, in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

Among the thousands of people who left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit last year, many have come to New England. And for a variety of reasons, they won’t return to the island.   

Updated 12:46 p.m. ET

A spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday that the agency's plan to end its distribution of emergency food and water in Puerto Rico and turn that responsibility over to the Puerto Rican government would not take effect on Jan. 31.

In the days after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, residents of some of the hardest hit rural areas found themselves stranded — cut off from more populated areas by mudslides, crumbled roads and bridges, and toppled trees and power lines. In those early days, the only food and water many of these communities received arrived by helicopter, sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

More than 50 activists gathered at Yale Thursday night to demand that the university stop investing in one of Puerto Rico’s biggest creditors. The U.S. territory is entering a form of federal bankruptcy.

Yoamar Vergara, at front, and others who evacuated Puerto Rico fill out job applications for positions at MGM Springfield.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Yoamar Vergara was living in the Puerto Rican city of Bayamon when Hurricane Maria hit the island's shores. Two days later, a friend living Springfield, Massachusetts, said she could move in.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló says he is moving to sell off the U.S. territory's public power company, as nearly a third of the island's electric customers remain without power four months after Hurricane Maria struck the island on Sept. 20.

Rosselló said Monday that it might take 18 months to privatize the insolvent Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, the largest U.S. public utility as measured by the number of customers — 3.3 million.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says that two dozen Puerto Rican families who relocated Hartford will no longer be eligible for housing assistance on Monday because inspections showed little or no damage to their homes in Puerto Rico.

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