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Puerto Ricans Prepare To Spend Thanksgiving In NYC, While Local Workers Help Island Rebuild

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Thousands of hurricane refugees from Puerto Rico are spending Thanksgiving in New York, while hundreds of New Yorkers will spend the holiday in Puerto Rico helping the island recover.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, the pre-holiday hustle and bustle at Fine Fare in East Harlem was no hassle for Puerto Rico residents Abigail and Angel Ortiz, who were buying pork to roast for the family that's hosting them.

"We make turkey, too," Abigail said.

They're giving thanks for something most take for granted – just to be in a city where the stores are well-stocked and well-lit.

"I'm very happy, very happy," Abigail added.

It's such a contrast to their life in Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria. Most of the island is still without power.

"We have to make a line for everything – for ice, for cook, for food, for gas," said Abigail.

Hundreds of New Yorkers will spend the holiday helping Puerto Rico, including dozens of Con Ed workers toiling 16 hours a day to restore power. Many of them sent holiday greetings in video messages.

"My name is Roderick Davis, of Queens overhead. Wanted to wish my family back in Brooklyn a happy Thanksgiving. Save some turkey for me!" one man said.

In Williamsburg, Patricia Davis said their huge family will miss Roderick on Thursday, but she's proud of him.

"The people from Con Ed here and other places are over there in Puerto Rico helping people. That's a good thing," she said.

She told Aiello she's ready to cook him a bird as soon as he's back home.

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