NY leaders head to ravaged Puerto Rico

ALBANY -- New York leaders on Friday headed to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, bringing a plane full of supplies and a message of "love" to the island.

New York has more people from Puerto Rican than any place outside the U.S. territory, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he received a request late Thursday from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to provide help.

Hurricane Maria ripped through the island earlier this week, making it the worst storm there in 80 years and leading to estimates from Rosselló that it could take three to six months before power is restored.

"I want every New Yorker to know that anything this state can do for Puerto Rico, we will do," Cuomo said Friday morning before leaving with state officials and his youngest daughter, Michaela, to Puerto Rico.

"Whatever resources, whatever need they have, this state will be responsive, and part of today is to find out exactly how we can best help."

JetBlue donated a plane for New York leaders to travel on to Puerto Rico, and the plane was stocked with supplies, including 34,000 bottles of water, 9,600 ready-to-eat meals and 3,000 canned goods.

The state also expects to send down 60 members of the New York Army National Guard, four Black Hawk helicopters and 50 State Police.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-Brooklyn, and other leaders of Puerto Rican descent said they still are awaiting word from family members on the Caribbean island.

The trip is the second one Cuomo has made over the past week to the Caribbean. Last Friday, he visited the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma ripped through the island.

What New York does is we act," Cuomo said. "We respond, and we respond quickly and we respond through love."

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