NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- More than 150 members of the National Guard's 152nd Engineering Support Company are set to make their first mission to Puerto Rico on Thursday.
The group was supposed to leave Wednesday, but flights in and out of the commonwealth were canceled. The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base, together with other units across the state, is helping load four planes full of food, water and equipment. In addition, a plane from Puerto Rico is expected to land in Niagara Falls as well.
"Many hands make light work so, getting them down there, getting them into the mix, helping clear the roads, help the sustainment operations. I think it's going to make for a faster recovery," said Chief Master Sargent Thomas Buschang, Aeroport superintendent.
Meantime, several families and their children have relocated to Western New York, including Chautauqua County.
Angel Burgos Carrero, 5, of Puerto Rico, has been living in Jamestown with his grandmother for a little more than a week. His mother is back on the island looking to pick up the pieces, after Hurricane Maria destroyed their neighborhood.
He was recently enrolled in kindergarten at C.C. Ring Elementary School in Jamestown and is one of two students, the other from the Virgin Islands, now part of the district.
"No food, no water, no power. There's no money. Our house got away, and we lost everything so that's why he's here," said Haydee Diaz, of Jamestown.
"Try to help him to have some normalcy to his life, as it's been changed dramatically in the last month or so," said Connie Foster, C.C. Ring principal.
Diaz says Angel will likely return home if and when conditions improve.