Puerto Rico Recovery Continues as New Hurricane Season Begins

Puerto Rico still dealing with devastation from Hurricane MariaAs a new hurricane season fast approaches, many people in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands are still suffering from last season’s deadly storms.

According to relief groups on the ground, many in Puerto Rico still do not have electricity or are dealing with rolling blackouts nearly eight months after Hurricane Maria slammed into the island as a Category 4 hurricane, destroying an estimated 230,000 homes and damaging 400,000 others.

Furthermore, many are living in homes without roofs or in need of serious repairs, and may not be ready if another big storm strikes.

“It’s going to take some time for Puerto Rico to recover, but Food For The Poor is committed to being there every step of the way with the loving support of our dedicated donors and our partners,” said Robin Mahfood, president/CEO of Food For The Poor, in a press release.

Also serving the people of Puerto Rico is Samaritan’s Purse, which is working to restore hundreds of homes and a number of churches over this year and next.

As another hurricane season nears, homes across Puerto Rico still bear the blue roofing tarp that Samaritan’s Purse installed following Hurricane Maria, the ministry reported last week.

Meanwhile, the Rock Radio Network in Puerto Rico told NRB Today that one of its three stations, WCGB in Juana Diaz, is still without power, and just last week put up a new 5K transmitter to replace the one it lost due to the hurricane.

Its flagship station, WIVV in Vieques, on the other hand, recently regained power but is still waiting for the FCC to approve their construction permit to put up a new tower to replace the one that was lost in the hurricane.

“They gave us a deadline to be back on the air by September, but they have not given us our construction permit yet,” Nita Luttrell told NRB Today on behalf of the network, which is a member of NRB.

The network’s third station, WBMJ in San Juan, is on air after spending tens of thousands of dollars on generators and diesel fuel.

In total, the network has had to replace equipment, transmitters, towers, satellite dishes, air conditioners, computers, and more. It is still does not have a complete assessment of its losses.

“We will have a better idea of any other losses as soon as we can get back on the air,” Luttrell reported.

Last year's Atlantic storm season was among the strongest seasons on record. Colorado State University's forecast for 2018 calls for 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

“As we prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, we are reminded that the road to recovery is often long and winding,” said Angel Aloma, executive director of Food For The Poor, in a press release. “We cannot thank our donors enough for their generosity.”

By NRB Staff

Published: May 31, 2018

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