NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Much of Puerto Rico remains flooded from Hurricane Maria and electricity is still out – and as a result, nearly everyone on the island is without water.
As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Sunday night, some New Yorkers are trying to help out.READ MORE: CDC Reverses Course, Recommends People Wear Masks Indoors Where COVID Rates Are High
The streets resemble canals in parts of Puerto Rico, and there is no timetable for when communication or power will be restored. The road to recovery is going to be long and expensive.
But with the help of a fellow New Yorker and a major icon in the entertainment industry, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a statewide collection effort for Puerto Rico, recently devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“It’s very hard to get everything there, as we’re seeing now — trying to get things on planes and trying to get the logistics set up on the ground,” Cuomo said.
Concerned about family members in Puerto Rico she has yet to hear from, Jennifer Lopez joined Cuomo Sunday in offering support to the island by using her connections and enlisting the help to those around her.
“Alex Rodriguez and I are utilizing all of our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports, and business to garner support,” Lopez said in a speech at the Jacob Javitz Center. “On the way over here, Alex called me and told me that Rob Manfriend and Major League Baseball, and Hal Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees have both committed to join us in giving us a significant contribution to this cause.”
The crosstown Mets announced Citi Field will serve as a location for New Yorkers to drop off much needed supplies.
“The Mets and our fans stand alongside all our friends and family in Puerto Rico during this difficult time,” Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said in a statement.
Lopez said she’s donating $1 million of the proceeds from her show in Las Vegas.
“My cousin and I and our family still haven’t been able to hear from our family over there, and we are concerned for them and for everyone on the island,” Lopez said.READ MORE: Drivers Turn Highways Into Personal Parking Lots While Waiting To Pick Up Passengers From Tri-State Area Airports
READ: How You Can Help
Other celebrities such as Rosie Perez are also joining the governor in encouraging New Yorkers to donate.
“Puerto Rico is just as important as Texas and Florida and all other areas hit in the United States,” Perez said.
In the meantime, Cuomo launched a statewide collection and contribution effort. He visited Puerto Rico days ago and saw Hurricane Maria’s damage firsthand.
“NY.Gov, which will have collection points all across the state,” the governor said.
The items will be flown to Puerto Rico by Jet Blue, which is donating $1 million in services to the effort.
Meanwhile, uncertainty about how loved ones are faring is what draws many to the Engine 91 firehouse in East Harlem, one of 18 donation dropoff centers in New York City.
“One of the women who helped raise me when I was a kid, she went back recently to Puerto Rico with her husband and we haven’t heard from them yet,” said Lightning Yumeku.
Yumeku added fresh toothbrushes to the pile.
“Because I know families are always thinking about their kids, and one thing we always think about is making sure our kids brush their teeth,” Yumeku said.
“Those are our people out there and we have to help out,” said Rafael Velez.MORE NEWS: Taxi Driver Scared To Return To Work After Almost Being Struck By Bullet While Driving On Queens Highway
To make sure Puerto Rico is receiving the items it needs most, right now collection centers are only accepting specific supplies. Anyone who wants to donate should check with their local dropoff center before hitting the stores.