The Hurricane season officially begins today. And more than 11,000 in Puerto Rico still don’t have power. Thousands still have not recovered from last year’s tragic storm. It could take at least two months to fully restore power to the people who lost it during Hurricane Maria. That storm hit more than eight months ago.
Progress has been painfully slow. Just outside San Juan, it is impossible not to see the heartache, according to CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.
Jose Sepulveda is a bedridden cancer survivor. His wife has to move him to the front porch every day because the heat is unbearable inside. They haven’t had electricity since last September.
“No power for eight months and hurricane season has now begun. Are you ready for another season?” Begnaud asked.
“Oh, no! No. How can we be ready. We have no light!” Sepulveda’s wife, Elogia, said. “It’s not easy and sometimes I start crying. But I got a Lord up there and he helps me.”
They live in Yabucoa where Hurricane Maria made landfall. There are thirty-eight percent of people here who still don’t have power.
The Puerto Rico power grid is teetering, one government official said, despite $3.8 billion in repairs.
“Last year we had about 80 generators. We’re going to have 630 generators here on the island,” said Mike Byrne, who led FEMA’s response after Hurricane Maria. “We will do whatever it takes to take care whatever comes our way.”
In the meantime, they wait.
“We need your help and please never forget us,” Elogia said.