Hurricanes

Puerto Rico currently facing 'apocalyptic' conditions. Here's what else you need to know

Posted September 26
Updated September 28

“Apocalyptic” seems to be the word of choice to describe Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island last week.

The once Category 4 storm left 10 people dead and much of the island without power. In fact, much of the island has been left without power since last Wednesday, according to CNN.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló told CNN on Sunday that officials saw “apocalyptic” conditions following the storm. And the damage won’t be easy to repair.

"We know a little more today than we did yesterday," Rossello said. "This is going to be a long road."

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening in Puerto Rico.

Dam in danger: The Guajataca Dam is in danger of breaking, according to NBC News. A flash flood warning is in effect for the area. Rossello said about 70,000 people could be affected if the dam fails to hold. He’s called on residents to evacuate as soon as possible.

Agriculture woes: The hurricane’s landfall last week devastated much of the farming and agricultural areas on the island, according to The New York Times, so much that it left “a rich agricultural region looking like the result of a postapocalyptic drought. Rows and rows of fields were denuded. Plants simply blew away,” The Times reported.

The storm eliminated 80 percent of the crop value of the U.S. territory, the NYT reported. The island suffered a $780 million loss in yields, too.

Trump response: He tweeted about about the NBA and NFL, but President Donald Trump said little about the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico over the weekend.

Meanwhile, former Democratic presidential nominee and past Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the Trump administration to do more to help the victims of Puerto Rico in a tweet Sunday.

Waiting for supplies: Federal agencies have struggled to bring aid to Puerto Rico, mostly because the airports and harbors have sustained significant damage. Many roads also remain blocked, according to The Washington Post. Five airports in Puerto Rico and two in the U.S. Virgin Islands were opened to help with these efforts.

“Six commercial cargo ships have delivered supplies including food, water and generators to the Caribbean islands, and more supplies are on the way by ship from Florida and by air from Florida and Kentucky," the Post says. "Among the provisions: The Defense Logistics Agency is sending 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico.”

Flights are back: According to NBC News, American Airlines restored limited flights to the U.S. territory. One flight traveled from Miami International Airport to the island's capital city of San Juan. Another left San Juan for Miami on Sunday. Similarly, a flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport got permission to fly to the island.

How long will this hurt Puerto Rico?: Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez told the Associated Press that the damage to the island will take decades to repair.

“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,” she said. “I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island’s greenery is gone.”

East Coast: The East Coast of the United States is next to experience the hurricane, CNN reported. It’s unclear exactly where the storm will make landfall, but North Carolina is expected to face the brunt of the storm.

In a statement Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said, "It is likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast by midweek.”

2 Comments

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  • Clayton Dent Sep 27, 7:53 a.m.
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    I know, right. Trump said he's going there next week to survey the damage. He said the fact that it's an island makes the logistics of getting all the help there an issue. Why not at least report that much, WRAL?

    Perhaps the Clinton's should step in and "help" like they did for the Haitians. The Hatians are huge Clinton supporters after all the help they recieved from the Clinton foundation.

  • Sherri Steve Gillikin Sep 27, 6:44 a.m.
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    In the middle of this story you had to add something negative about the President and something positive about HRC which had absolutely nothing to do with the story. WRAL you are about as pathetic as her.