For Puerto Ricans who survived Maria, Fiona’s damage brings bad memories, frustration

Fiona’s impact was bigger because the island still hasn’t recovered from Maria

Victoria Hernández is keeping tabs on the situation out of her homeland after Hurricane Fiona pounded the island of Puerto Rico on Sunday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Victoria Hernández is keeping tabs on the situation out of her homeland after Hurricane Fiona pounded the island of Puerto Rico on Sunday.

“It’s the same as five years ago; people don’t have electricity, people don’t have water,” Hernández said.

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Twenty-four hours after Fiona hit, Hernández’s aunt told her over the phone that they still have no water or power. Hernández’s mother has to rely on other sources to stay in communication.

“It’s frustrating because there’s no electricity so she has to go and get electricity in the car just to charge her phone,” the 22-year-old said. “I’m just calling them and making sure that they are doing OK.”

Hernández told News 6 that Fiona’s impact brought back memories of what Hurricane Maria did in 2017. Hernández moved to Central Florida 3 weeks after that storm ravaged the island.

“It was hard because how are we going to work without electricity and just surviving with a generator,” she recalled.

Hernández is currently enrolled at UCF where she is the vice president of the Puerto Rican Student Association. She said she’s working on finding ways to help her people on the island.

“I’ve been on social media all day trying to get resources that are helping people so I can share with my friends here,” Hernández said.

For Ana Elena Sánchez who lives in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico, it’s been difficult for many to drive around the island due to downed trees and power lines.

Sánchez said the towns of Carolina and Fajardo, east of San Juan, are dealing with flooded roads and debris scattered throughout some areas.

“It continues to rain in Puerto Rico, we still have no power,” she said.

Fiona was made more devastating because Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly 3,000 people and destroyed the power grid in 2017.


About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.