Federal and local groups band together to help Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico.
“It’s been a pretty devastating storm as far as we can tell," Katy Fox, Acting Deputy Administrator of Protection and National Preparedness at FEMA said.
Fox is closely monitoring the storm. The first Category-4 to hit the island since 1932. Fox said it's still too soon to know just how much damage there will be.
“They got substantial power outages and some communications challenges so when the storm passes we’ll be able to get out and do some assessments," Fox added.
This is the hub of the federal response where people have been working around the clock for the past 30 days to support recovery and relief efforts. Others are helping in a different way.
“We’re a very strong community here, so we immediately reached out to each other, so this is where we decided to organize," Frederick Abbott said.
Abbott and his brother James came to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration Wednesday with one goal, to help. They were born and raised in Puerto Rico. Even though they live in Washington now, their family back home isn't far from their minds.
“It is really hard being away from your family and knowing that they have to go through that catastrophe so we’re trying everything we can to help them out from here," he added.
Executive Director Carlos Mercader reassures this hurricane won’t set Puerto Rico back for long.
“We’ll be able to come together, to rise again, to rebuild, all together as one nation," Mercader said.