Local woman who experienced Hurricane Maria relives devastation as family faces Hurricane Fiona

A Jacksonville woman who witnessed the catastrophic devastation that Category 5 hurricane Maria caused in Puerto Rico shared the effect Hurricane Fiona had on her family back home over the weekend.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman who witnessed the catastrophic devastation that Category 5 hurricane Maria caused in Puerto Rico shared the effect Hurricane Fiona had on her family back home over the weekend.

Yanira Cardona was anxious as she held her phone tightly, watching every Hurricane Fiona update and answering calls from her family back in Puerto Rico as they brace for the Category 1 hurricane’s destruction.

Cardona shared a video from her relatives back home that showed the disaster as it was happening.

“You can hear my aunt in the background saying ‘it’s horrible,’ and you can see the wires are already down,” Cardona said.

Cardona lived in Puerto Rico with her family from 12 to 17 years old and goes back to visit often. Watching Fiona wreak havoc on her homeland is not only devastating but also traumatizing.

Yanira Cardona in Puerto Rico
Yanira Cardona in Puerto Rico
Yanira Cardona in Puerto Rico

She was in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria made landfall in 2017. Cardona sat traumatized as she watched a video of the same bridge that was swept away by Maria in 2017, being swept away again by another hurricane.

RELATED: Fiona continues to impact Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic

“I am one of the survivors,” Cardona said.

Towns such as Guanica, where Cardona is from, and Sabana Grande experienced devastating destruction as well. Cardona received consistent updates from family members but some of her relatives will have to rebuild.

“My father is okay but unfortunately my cousin did lose her home. She was in a trailer that did not withstand the winds. As well as my aunt’s roof got damaged and a couple of my other family members’ homes did get damaged,” Cardona said.

Despite the flooding, damage to homes and no power, Cardona said her family is coming together on the island they love to help rebuild again.

Fiona is expected to continue to produce life-threatening and catastrophic flooding along with mudslides and landslides throughout Monday. Cardona’s family and everyone in Puerto Rico will have to be cautious.

As of Monday, Fiona was on track to the Dominican Republic.


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