They live in Yabucoa where Hurricane Maria made landfall. Thirty-eight percent of people here still don’t have power. Across the island, 11,000 customers are still waiting. Carlos Reyes got so frustrated waiting, he restored his own power.
The Puerto Rico power grid is teetering, one government official said, despite $3.8 billion in repairs. Relief workers with nonprofit aid organization Samaritan’s Purse are stepping in where the government can’t, installing solar panels – including one at the home of Cecilia Burgos. The energy is being used to power a refrigerator. It’s one of the first things being asked: Can you help me keep my food cool? It’s also powering a fan that they leave off during the day to preserve the energy they have, and most importantly at night, they use the generator to power the fan over Burgos’ bed.
“Last year we had about 80 generators. We’re going to have 630 generators here on the island,” said Mike Byrne, who led FEMA’s response after Hurricane Maria. “We will do whatever it takes to take care whatever comes our way.”
In the meantime, they wait.
“We need your help and please never forget us,” Elogia said.
that after Maria, on average, households went 84 days without electricity and 68 days without water. It bears repeating Harvard researchers estimate at least 4,600 people died because of Maria.