Puerto Ricans – Over 1 million Puerto Ricans now call New York state home. On Sunday night, many of them were waiting for word from their loved ones and mobilizing to help after the devastation from Hurricane Fiona. The strong winds associated with the storm have caused power outages almost a day before landfall. Some of the outages were reported before the storm even made landfall.
The entire island is in the dark and many of the profits made five years after Hurricane Maria have been washed away.
Jenyffer Ortiz of the Bronx, a Hurricane Maria evacuee said -“We need help. Let us not forget. Don’t forget all of those Puerto Ricans who are there who today need us.” Ortiz left Puerto Rico after Maria. Her hometown has been left in ruins by Fiona and the worst of it isn’t over yet. “I have family, I have friends, and it’s hard. It’s hard to re-live everything that’s happening,” Ortiz added
A bridge in central mountain town not far from where her family is right now was washed away by the storm, The fast-moving water created dangerous conditions, while the winds left the electric grid offline.
Back here at home, Surey Miranda works with the nonprofit Diaspora for Puerto Rico. Miranda said “One of the things that we want to make sure is that we create visibility about the lack of infrastructure,” She added what is different this time around is that people still have access to the internet, which is a big help. They’re already thinking about donations.” Making sure that they get solar batteries, items that can be helpful to keep people communicating,”
City Councilmember Marjorie Velazquez, one of the many Puerto Rican lawmakers in the city, has family on the island. She said help needs to come quicker than it did after Maria.
“This didn’t work out last time, so we understand that challenge. So we’re here as New Yorkers. As New York state, New York City teamed up last time, we’re going to do the same this time,” Velazquez said. She says once the storm is over, there needs to be accountability.
“The power authority, LUMA, has not done its fair share in helping Puerto Rico have power,” Velazquez said.
Flooding will be a concern in the days ahead. One of the things many people in New York and on Puerto Rico are demanding for is what will happen when a bigger storm happens.
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