NEW BEDFROD - City Council voted to support a letter penned by Ward Three Councilor Hugh Dunn asking for the mayor and Health Department to accommodate the needs of Americans who may evacuate Puerto Rico because of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria.

The motion was passed in council chambers by a unanimous vote to reach the desk of Mayor Mitchell. Dunn says he feels that New Bedford should be ready to help people who are still suffering in Puerto Rico, with an extra focus on children affected by the storm.

Dunn also says that he expects the numbers of refugees from Puerto Rico due to the storm will rise once air traffic is restored there.

“We should be prepared to help them as far as whatever services they need. Especially focusing on the children in making sure we can enroll them into our schools, provide counseling, and provide food to these people, they're American citizens,” said Dunn.

Dunn says that cities across the country should expect the waves of people entering the U.S. mainland to seek refuge from a devastated Puerto Rico.

“Families house families. We can expect that we're going to get plenty of that happening soon in the city of New Bedford and I think it's just overall the right thing to do,” Councilor At-Large Deborah Coelho said.

The City Council expects response from Mayor Mitchell's office to come within the next week.

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