Supplies have yet to leave Tampa
TAMPA — Tons of supplies sat in a packed hangar on Friday evening waiting for a plane that had not yet arrived. The goods, which amounted to about 10 tractor trailers worth of diapers, food, generators and bottled water, are bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico, — but for now, they sit at the Pemco World Air Services hangar at Tampa International Airport. The goods were donated by local businesses from the Tampa Bay area and beyond, including Orlando, Texas and Tennessee. The goal was to help ease the suffering of Puerto Rico, which is still largely without power and drinking water since Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 20 with wind speeds up to 150 mph. The hangar space normally uses to repair commercial planes is now filled with supplies — Pemco allowed the space use without charge — and many of the workers waiting at the ready to load the donated goods are volunteers. The plan was for a DC-8 to arrive in Tampa to pick up supplies and fly them to San Juan. The main deck of such a plane can hold the equivalent of 108 loaded wooden pallets. But Max Chesler, a dispatcher who specializes in logistics for Menzies Aviation who has been volunteering to help, said regulations have resulted in the plane being delayed since Monday.