The Dragon's Tale

Puerto Rico’s Road to Recovery

Arabella Wilson, Staff Journalist

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On September 6th, 2017 hurricane Maria, a devastating category 4 hurricane, directly hit the U.S. territory, Puerto Rico. This has been the 5th strongest storm to hit the island in 80 years and its disastrous impacts have been extensive on the island.

In the months following the storm, 70% of the Islanders (about 3.4 million people) are still without power and many still scramble to find a running supply of water. The island is struggling to repair the immense damages forcing them to start sending victims to Florida. Here they have three Disaster Relief Centers located in Orlando, Miami, and the Port of Miami. Here, they are being provided with the essential needs until their homes can be repaired well enough for the standard of living, which is looking like it could take a while.

When the storm hit the island, President Trump expressed his concern nationally. The next day Trump made the decision to free up the federal resources for the recovery. However, a few days later Trump tweeted about Puerto Rico’s previous downfalls saying, “…It’s old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars…owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities – and doing well.”

So far the U.S. government has given Puerto Rico $46 million dollars in contract, but the reported amount of damages is between $45 billion to $95 billion. The United States government will not provide all of the money needed to repair the island, meaning Puerto Rico still has a long way to go.

Along with significant financial deficits, Puerto Rico is also facing an extreme power outage. When the storm hit, the island lost 1.25 billion hours of their electricity supply. This power outage is bigger than that of Hurricane George (1998) and Hurricane Sandy (2012). 70% of Puerto Ricans are still currently without power. The first true electrical company did not arrive in Puerto Rico until 36 days after the storm hit. Now, there are electricians working hard to fix all of the power outages and Puerto Rico is making its slow recovery.

There are things that people can do to help their recovery happen faster. Puerto Rico sent out a list of items that are needed. The list includes things such as water, blankets, pillows, non-perishable foods, stomach/ diarrhea medicine, etc. People can send these items to relief groups such as Puerto Rico Rises and many more. Many people have also donated money to the fundraising groups. Finally, people can even donate to long-term relief fundraising groups such as the nonprofit organization ConPRmetidos, that has created funds to be able to help Puerto Rico in the long run. Anything that people can do is much appreciated and will help Puerto Rico on their road to recovery.

 

 

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Puerto Rico’s Road to Recovery