Hundreds Flee Devastation in Puerto Rico to Join Family in Chicago

As Puerto Rico continues to struggle two weeks after Hurricane Maria, Chicago is preparing for what could be a big influx of residents from the island.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday the city is not only offering emergency responders to help Puerto Rico, but has already accepted 1,600 evacuees.

As of Monday, more than half of Puerto Rico’s residents still have no access to clean running water, and more than 90 percent remain without electricity. There’s also no clear accounting of how many fatalities might have occurred; there are stories of people having died in hospitals without power or backup generators.

But the emergency relief efforts are increasing. The U.S. now has 44 helicopters and 7,000 troops helping. For its part, FEMA says it has been able to reach all 79 municipalities on the island and provide food, water and medical supplies. 

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