Bronx firefighters have returned home after assisting with recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
“Half my heart is in Puerto Rico,” said firefighter Jorge Sanchez, one of many who spent weeks in the hurricane-ravaged island territory. “It seemed…almost like a war scene.”
Sanchez joined Lt. Ricco Diaz, of the FDNY Disaster Assistance Response Team, and about 30 other New York City firefighters in Puerto Rico.
“I was only back in New York for about three days before we were deployed to go to Hurricane Maria,” Diaz said.
News 12 first interviewed Diaz before he went to assist in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and before he left for Puerto Rico. He said there were more volunteers than he could take to Puerto Rico, but the island still needs help.
“Puerto Rico is so green, so to see it all beige and gray is shocking,” he said. “There’s definitely more help that can be done.”
The FDNY team delivered thousands of ready-to-eat meals, tarps for blown-off roofs and bottled water. Diaz said they teamed up with the Red Cross to help buy water-filtration kits.
Diaz said he plans on heading back to Puerto Rico to make sure there are no issues with the filtration system.
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