TRENTON – Senator Nellie Pou (D-Bergen/Passaic) today issued the following statement on the state’s plan to aid the Hurricane Maria rescue and recovery effort in Puerto Rico. Governor Christie today announced plans to deploy National Guard members and emergency responders to Puerto Rico under the state’s effort, designated as the Puerto Rico Integrated Deployment Effort (PRIDE):
“New Jersey is deeply connected to Puerto Rico and it is critical that we provide support to our fellow citizens as they work to recover from this natural disaster. I am grateful the governor is marshaling state resources, and ask that the administration do everything it can to get assistance to the island as soon as possible.
“The people of Puerto Rico are facing extremely dire circumstances and while they continue to hear that help is on the way, residents in many parts of the island have not yet received aid. Food, water and fuel supplies are dwindling and for many, particularly those with health conditions that require medical attention, this is becoming an issue of life or death.
“We are still in response mode, in the life saving stages of this crisis, and sending additional emergency responders during this most critical time to the island of Puerto Rico could make all the difference. I want to thank the administration for its work to mobilize manpower and equipment. I especially want to thank the men and women in our National Guard, our law enforcement and our first responders who courageously respond to the call for assistance in times of crisis.
“We have seen an outpouring of support from New Jerseyans, including from law enforcement in Paterson and Passaic and Bergen counties who are preparing to mobilize as part of this effort. I know we will continue to see our residents stepping up to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico for weeks and months to come.”