Native Puerto Rican describes devastation after Hurricane Maria

A woman from Puerto Rico was able to get to her daughter's home in Houston. She spoke with KHOU 11 News about her experience being on the island during Hurricane Maria.

HOUSTON - The slow-moving recovery happening in Puerto Rico has many residents seeking shelter off the island and some of them are finding temporary homes in Houston.

Evelyn Garcia lived for more than a week at her home on the island in Cabo Rojo without power or running water following the arrival of Hurricane Maria.

“I said, ‘This is going to be really bad,’” Garcia said.  "The bacteria is going to start coming, there’s no water, the supplies are going to get low, no gasoline, no diesel, no refrigeration.”

Garcia says she, her neighbors and friends struggled to find supplies and gasoline. She says stores were empty, and many people were soon without clean drinking water.

"We had money, and we could pay,” Garcia said. "But even with money, you cannot get anything."

Garcia eventually made it to a satellite telephone and was able to call her daughter in Houston. Her daughter was able to arrange a flight to Houston for her mother with the help of a local travel agent.

Garcia is now waiting for her other daughter to arrive from Puerto Rico Tuesday night. She says her daughter has diabetes and it is essential that she is near a working hospital.

Garcia believes it will take years for the island to rebuild.

“It’s a disaster, a total disaster,” Garcia said. "Puerto Rico is a disaster right now. And it’s a shame, because Puerto Rico is a very beautiful island."

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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