One year after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico continues to rebuild

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Joe Torres reports on Puerto Rico continuing to rebuild post-Hurricane Maria.

YABUCOA, Puerto Rico (WABC) -- One year ago this week, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and over the months that followed, 2,975 people died as a result of the storm.

Since the hurricane, Puerto Ricans have struggled to rebuild an infrastructure that had problems to begin with.

Many are in the midst of the recovery process, including the town of Yabucoa, where Hurricane Maria made landfall with winds of 155 miles per hour.

Outside the capital city of San Juan, the lingering effects of the hurricane are still clearly visible.

There are street lights that don't work, infrastructure that is beyond repair, and commercial centers that pale in comparison to what they once were.

But look closer and there are signs of life, of recovery and renewal. The hillsides and fields that Hurricane Maria swept clean are once again lush and green.

Power lines and utility poles are up and running. At least some rooftops are patched and painted.

Throughout it all, one thing has remained constant - the resiliency of a people who survived Mother Nature's fury.

They have persevered through a humanitarian crisis and endured a woefully inadequate response and recovery.

Luis Crespo of Yabucoa told us many people fled to the mainland. Many others stayed behind.

"That's a very difficult decision for each person, each place, deciding where you are going to survive and find opportunities.'" the 77-year-old said.

Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres is in Puerto Rico to cover the storm recovery one year later. CLICK HERE to view his reports, as well as other stories about Puerto Rico.


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