Bay area families worry about loved ones in Puerto Rico as Tropical Storm Dorian draws near

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 it ripped apart the island.

More than three thousand people are believed to have lost their lives as a result of the storm and for some survivors, the power was out for months.

Victor Morales of Tampa has family in Puerto Rico. “They’re still looking for the refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, and stove and so forth, beds, the whole nine yards was blown away,” said Morales.

Dealing with life after the storm became very difficult for Morales’s nephew.

“He would go to a market, a supermarket or whatever, couldn’t find anything and he would tell me that sometimes he cried because he was hungry,” said Morales.

Now Tropical Storm Dorian is heading to the island. The storm doesn’t have the power of Maria, but it is creating worry among many Bay Area residents.

A lot of my cousins got really devastated. They have still to this day, electrical wires that have not been fixed,” said Margarita Torres who also lives in Tampa, but still has family in Puerto Rico. “So now they are bracing of course for the one that’s coming which is double trouble because if it hadn’t been fixed from prior, it’s going to be more disastrous type of thing,” said Torres.

Just the thought of another tropical storm for Puerto Rico is concerning to those who lived through Maria.

“They are very concerned because any winds or anything, because if things have not been repaired properly, you have a lot of loose wooden houses that any slight wind could blow it away,” said Torres who points out much of the island is still recovering.

“You go to the San Juan area and it’s all nice and fixed and beautiful, but in the inner part of the country, going up to the mountains where people are very poor, you didn’t get that, you didn’t get the help. A lot of them complain of, what did the government do with the money because it didn’t come here to help us,” said Torres.

Forecasters believe Tropical Storm Dorian will impact Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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