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This couple in rural Puerto Rico just got their power back-- almost 1 year after Maria

While 90 percent of island has power, rural areas are still waiting


RIO BLANCO, Puerto Rico – More than 90 percent of Puerto Rico has electricity restored nine months after Hurricane Maria; however, some rural areas of the Caribbean island are still in the dark.

Lolo Montanez and his wife, both in their 80s, live in the town of Naguabo. They and have been relying on friends, family and neighbors to survive without power since the hurricane hit in September.

Montanez can't drive due to his health, and the biggest problem is keeping their food and medicine cold without refrigeration. Since the storm, they have been using a 50-quart cooler.

"Somebody from the top brings it," Montanez said of the food and supplies brought to his home.

Montanez said while it has been difficult living without power, he is grateful for the people who have helped him and his wife.

Delmaris Rodriguez, the spokesperson for the town of Naguabo, said most of her family has moved stateside.

"It has been very hard. It has been very heartbreaking," Rodriguez said.

Rebuilding the Rio Blanco area's electrical system has been a slow process. News 6 was there Tuesday as electrical crews restored power to the area almost one year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

A crew member from North Carolina said he had been on the island since February, but some of his peers have been there since November.