6 months after devastating Hurricane Maria: How is Puerto Rico recovering?
By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer
March 20, 2018, 1:03:51 PM EDT
Although it has been six months since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still struggling to return to normal with an estimated $90 billion in damages.
Crews have restored power to 93 percent of customers and water to 99 percent of customers, but more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans still remain in the dark with frequent power outages.
I wish 6 months after Hurricane Maria hit PR, I could be dancing w/ joy abt a job well done on the island, instead we will be rallying in DC in front of FEMA bldg. 4 their failure 2 act @Pwr4PuertoRico @HispanicFed 🇵🇷— Luis A. Miranda, Jr. (@Vegalteno) March 20, 2018
Power company officials are considering installing U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-funded battery-powered solar panels to provide more immediate relief for rural areas that remain in the dark, Electric Power Authority interim director Justo Gonzalez said.
According to a recent study by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York, in the six months since the hurricane, more than 135,000 people have fled to the U.S. mainland.
The estimate found more than 40 percent of them settled in Florida, with others fleeing to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania.
The Associated Press found that of the $23 billion pledged for Puerto Rico, only $1.27 billion for a nutritional assistance program has been disbursed, along with more than $430 million to repair public infrastructure. FEMA also has spent more than $6 billion from its standing emergency fund.
Photos: AccuWeather delivers life-saving aid to town of Patillas, Puerto Rico
Watching these Puerto Rico school kids gets electricity back will make you cry
Power restoration brings hope to Patillas, Puerto Rico, in aftermath of Hurricane Maria
AccuWeather delivers aid in Puerto Rico, finds rays of hope and resiliency
Signs that progress is being made slowly but surely continue to emerge. Last week, a bridge connecting 60 families to the town of Utuado in the central part of the island and home to 33,000 people, was rebuilt after washing away during Maria's rampage.
"Utuado was at one point considered ground zero after the most devastating, slowest and most impactful natural catastrophe in the modern history of Puerto Rico," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello said, according to ABC News.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 9:36:39 PM EST
Damage has been reported after a strong magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck near Coquimbo in central Chile, prompting a tsunami warning that was canceled a short time later, officials say.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 8:41:17 PM EST
Severe thunderstorms rumbled across the Deep South on Saturday afternoon, with one storm producing a potential tornado that caused extensive damage in the town of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Midwestern US: Wind-swept snow, treacherous travel to focus from Ohio to Kentucky into Saturday night
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:26:38 PM EST
Despite rain starting the weekend across the Ohio Valley, plummeting temperatures will return snow, treacherous travel and frigid conditions through Saturday night.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:40:26 PM EST
A storm with feet of snow, blizzard conditions, a significant build-up of ice, tree-breaking winds and plunging temperatures threatens to close roads, cause flight cancellations and disrupt daily activities over a large part of the northeastern United States this weekend.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:07:20 PM EST
Superfan Chris Stone has plenty of advice for how to prepare for a freezing cold game.
Brutal cold to endanger those left stranded, without power in wake of immobilizing northeastern US winter storm
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 8:41:29 PM EST
A polar plunge of brutal cold is following this weekend’s blockbuster winter storm, which can threaten lives and complicate travel and cleanup efforts.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 4:05:15 PM EST
While a winter storm churns to their north, residents of the southern United States are facing a severe weather danger on Saturday.
Weather News - January 19, 2019, 10:31:01 PM EST
The snowstorm that caused nearly a thousand flights to be canceled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is expected to bring difficult and dangerous travel to a large swath of the Northeast through at least Sunday.