Rep. Luis Gutierrez was expected to board a plane from Chicago to Puerto Rico Friday, saying he wanted to assess damage in the hurricane-ravaged island for himself to determine how he can best help residents.
Gutierrez was slated to fly out O’Hare Airport just before 9 a.m. Friday.
"I want to go to hear from people there personally and what they want me to bring back to people of Chicago and to Congress of USA," Gutierrez said before his flight.
He hopes to travel through the island and bring food to the island during his trip.
"To return to that island without food for my family would be bad," he said. "I'm taking food."
He told MSNBC Thursday that he has been briefed by high-ranking officials in Puerto Rico who say things are dire.
"No one can believe we are actually as a US government doing everything we can," Gutierrez said Friday. "Things are not good there."
On Thursday another plane of relief goods was sent to Puerto Rico with organizers saying donations were made with the help of Gov. Bruce Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“In a strange way I feel like if all the governors in all the states all decide to help to send some pallets and planes we might be able to help the situation there and make a deeper impact,” said Isabel Dieppa with the Puerto Rican Agenda.
Sen. Dick Durbin also plans to meet with leaders in the Puerto Rican community in Chicago Friday to discuss how to speed up federal assistance.