by: Lauren Seabrook, WFTV Web Staff Updated:
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - There will soon be more Puerto Rican evacuees coming to Central Florida.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Thursday that the agency will help transport, for free, hurricane survivors from Puerto Rico to Florida or New York. The priority will be given to 3,000 people who are living in shelters in Puerto Rico, agency officials said.
FEMA officials said the agency plans to work with families on a comprehensive plan of action before they get on the plane.
The plan does not address where evacuees will be placed once they get to Central Florida. FEMA has already said it will pay for one-month hotel stays.
There are nearly 800 evacuees who arrive at Orlando International Airport every day, and Central Florida hotels and shelters are full, officials said. So the big issue will be where to house the evacuees because no one has agreed to bring in temporary housing.
In light of FEMA’s announcement, Gov. Rick Scott activated the state’s Emergency’s Operation Center to a Level 2. That activation means a more coordinated effort will exist between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.
"We don't have no power, no water. My little daughter don't have no school yet," Puerto Rico evacuee Felix Martell told Channel 9’s Lauren Seabrook.
For many, it's one of the hardest decisions they've ever made to leave their whole life and belongings behind in Puerto Rico.
"I came here because of my daughter has a condition and we couldn't find the food she could eat there (in Puerto Rico)," Juan Contreris said.
This amazing father brought his daughter to Orlando for a new life. They’ve been struggling in Puerto Rico since #Maria. We’re exploring @fema’s new plan to relocated families like these for @WFTV at 4 & 5. pic.twitter.com/oWVMW1KMAQ— Lauren Seabrook (@LSeabrookWFTV) November 9, 2017
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