It's been six months since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico.
The Red Cross is reporting there are 89 families residing in Danbury who have evacuated from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There are 15 new students in the Danbury School system. The Danbury Public Health Emergency Preparedness Division is working with FEMA, through their Transitional Shelter Assistance program, and the Danbury Housing Authority to obtain housing for some families.
Thousands of Puerto Rican families fled to Connecticut in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Local Health Departments are providing updates on the numbers and status of evacuees to the state. Members of the Danbury Public Health Emergency Preparedness Division participated in the Puerto Rico Relief Center Leadership Conference in January, hosted by the Red Cross. Members of volunteer organizations, FEMA, and various city officials discussed the challenges and possible solutions for aiding with evacuees in Connecticut.
In his budget adjustments, Governor Malloy proposed $400,000 to continue providing temporary housing assistance to about 40 Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria.
Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the Appropriations Committee, is urging Congress to appropriate additional funding to help the island rebuild and recover from the $100 billion in damage, and to help communities, like those in Connecticut, that have taken in families who fled from the island.
Hurricane Maria destroyed roughly 75,000 homes and caused damage to an additional 300,000 homes.
More than 275,000 Puerto Ricans live in Connecticut, making up about 8 percent of the state’s population. Murphy and Senator Richard Blumenthal traveled to Puerto Rico earlier this year to see firsthand the ongoing devastation on the island to secure comprehensive aid for Puerto Ricans.