Minnesotans helping with relief efforts in wake of hurricane in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Tropical Weather
Streets are flooded on Salinas Beach after the passing of Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Monday.
Alejandro Granadillo | AP

Efforts are underway in Minnesota to raise money to help Puerto Rico following the devastating flooding and other damage caused by Hurricane Fiona over the weekend.

Much of the island lost power and water service in the wake of the storm that dropped more than 2 feet of rain in some locations.

The Minnesota-based fund El Fondo Boricua serves Latino communities in Minnesota and across the country, and is working on hurricane relief.

Maria Isa, an adviser for El Fondo Boricua, said the hurricane has brought back traumatic memories — as this week is the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria striking Puerto Rico. That storm caused several thousand deaths on the island, with recovery still underway when Fiona hit.

"So while we mourn and hold vigils" on the anniversary of the 2017 hurricane, Isa said, "we're now being reflective of 'here we are,' where the island is without power."

The effort in Minnesota to help people affected by the storm in Puerto Rico "is about helping humanity and helping American citizens. Puerto Ricans are American citizens," Isa said.

A vigil organized by El Fondo Boricua will be held at El Colegio High School in south Minneapolis at noon Tuesday. The event is being held to observe the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, and also share information about relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.

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