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Political, community leaders in Springfield meet to discuss helping Puerto Rico after hurricane

The probable path of Hurricane Fiona.
Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The probable path of Hurricane Fiona.

Political and community leaders in and around Springfield, who have ties to Puerto Rico, are meeting virtually Monday evening to discuss how to help the people of the island after it was struck by a hurricane.

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico over the weekend and knocked out power across the island.

State Rep. Carlos González said he has been in active communication with officials in Puerto Rico.

He said based on lessons he learned in responding to Hurricane Maria five years ago, it's important to find out exactly what's most needed before efforts to help are launched.

"Sometimes people want to start making some type of relief efforts and usually it leads to collections of food, water and clothing and that may not be [the]...best ways to help those on the island," he said.

Gonzalez said one option could be getting money to groups that are already on the ground.

He said those who are concerned about friends and family on the island should reach out to them and make sure they are okay.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.