With storm-damaged schools closed, Puerto Rican students turn to Bridgeport

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

Bridgeport city officials say they're seeing an influx of Puerto Ricans arriving locally to escape the devastation of Hurricane Maria -- and now many of them are enrolling their children in local schools.

"It's our business to make sure every child that needs an education is provided with adequate education," says Lissette Colon, a human resource recruiter. "So, that's what we're striving for."

Gabriel Matos, who came to Bridgeport with his wife and four children on Sunday, says the hurricane left them no choice.

"We saw the devastation, and we knew we had to get to the United States," he says. Part of the reason: School officials in Puerto Rico told him classes wouldn't resume until January.

Officials say at least 18 families have enrolled so far, and that number is expected to increase.

The governor of Puerto Rico says the storm's death toll has risen to at least 45.

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