Cubs’ relief donations, Rep. Gutierrez headed to Puerto Rico on Chicago flight

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CHICAGO -- The wait is over for hundreds of local Puerto Ricans who want to join their families dealing with the disaster after Hurricane Maria.

Two more flights to San Juan will take off from O'Hare Airport today.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez is booked on one of those flights. Like other passengers, he is going to check on his relatives.

As a U.S. Congressman, he also wants to assess the situation in Puerto Rico for himself.

Gutierrez will be met this afternoon by the mayor on San Juan; he plans to tour the metro area before tonight's curfew. On Saturday, he hopes to see the devastation in other parts of the island, and speak with residents.

The Congressman is anxious to learn why relief supplies aren't reaching people faster. He's been critical of the Trump administration all week, questioning why the military response didn't happen sooner.

But Gutierrez is encouraged by recent progress. He says, "I'm happy, and I applaud that they appointed a three-star general to be in charge of this rescue of the people of Puerto Rico. That's what they assigned to Haiti. That's what they assigned to Katrina. They need someone who is in charge over everything."

Also this morning, American is set to offer its first passenger flight to San Juan since the hurricane. Its cargo includes ten generators, batteries and 30 cases of water donated by the Chicago Cubs. The airline says conditions at the airport in San Juan are improving, allowing for more passenger flights.

Congressman Gutierrez will return to Chicago Sunday and meet with Mayor Emanuel Monday. Together, they plan to discuss an coordinate a targeted Chicago response to Puerto Rico.

 

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