U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, the first congressman of Puerto Rican heritage from Florida, just landed in San Juan within the hour.
“I am heading to the Emergency Operations Center to get a helicopter tour of the Island and to meet with local elected officials,” the Orlando Democrat said.
Many news reports have cited villages and rural areas completely cut off following the direct hit from Hurricane Maria.
“There is obvious devastation including major building damage. Roads still have debris blocking, and most trees have their leaves blown off,” Soto said. “I saw hundreds of containers still at the port with few trucks to transport them.”
The administration has said that relief efforts are working well and on time while some island officials said that relief has been slow, disorganized and not getting to the rural, isolated areas. Soto said he is there to observe and find the needs.
His 9th Congressional District has a large number of Puerto Rican voters. Those with Puerto Rican heritage also make up a large percentage of the Hispanic voters in Florida, which may become larger if the number of citizens on the island keep their promises to move to the mainland U.S.