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3.4 million people, 3.4 million stories: How Puerto Ricans are surviving after Maria

Vic Micolucci meets St. Augustine High grad who just moved back to San Juan

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico is still in a state of crisis two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island territory.

News4Jax photographer Matt Kinzig and I went to San Juan to see what we could find. There are 3.4 million people who live on the island and there are 3.4 million stories.

There is still so much suffering in Puerto Rico, as the U.S. citizens are essentially trapped on the island as they wait for aid and assistance. 

RELATED: News4Jax reporter Vic Micolucci heads to Puerto Rico

In San Juan, some of the buildings were illuminated -- partially because of generators -- and some of the government offices have had powered restored. 

But most people, about 90 percent of them, still do not have electricity. They haven't had it since Hurricane Maria struck two weeks ago. 

Many people are struggling to get fresh food and drinking water. And they tell me that without power, without resources, they can’t work. And this is an area that relies on tourism. The hotels, the restaurants and the shops remain closed. 

So many people are without jobs and without income. 

We met a young woman who just moved back to her hometown of San Juan from North Florida. Deyna Hernandez, 19, who graduated from St. Augustine High School, told me the situation here is very devastating.  

"I had two (jobs) and I lost them both. One is underwater and one couldn’t pay me well, so they had to send me home," Hernandez said. "Right now, I’m just looking for my jobs, looking for more options, because I have an apartment to pay and everything. So I have to look for a way to make money."

She told me it's extremely difficult to reset the situation.

"I would say it is pretty hard. San Juan is a really small community and we only have one supermarket. So it is really hard for us to get food, get water, you know?" Hernandez said. "It is hard!"

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he has gotten a lot of help from the National Guard, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But the island still needs more help. This is going to be an ongoing crisis for, potentially, years. Yes, that’s how long it will take for some people to get electricity and running water back.

So obviously, a lot of people are very concerned, especially for those in the remote areas, which we are trying to get to on Wednesday.

Of course, we will keep you posted.  Be sure to follow me on Facebook at WJXT4 Vic Micolucci, Instagram @vicmicolucci and Twitter @wjxtvic. I will be posting behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, as well as very important information about how you can help people in this very difficult time.


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