ORLANDO, Fla. — As we keep an eye on the tropics, so are many people in Central Florida with family members in Puerto Rico.
Nearly everyone on the island is dealing with life-threatening flooding and most people do not have power.
Puerto Rico has set up temporary shelters for individuals at risk.
Orlando resident Jerick Mediavilla said that so far, he has been able to stay in contact with his family, but he is worried about what could happen overnight.
“We are almost at the 5-year mark of Maria and yet here we are,” he said.
Mediavilla said Puerto Ricans are now better prepared for disaster following Hurricane Maria.
But even Fiona’s force was stronger than what his family expected, with water coming into the house and seeping in through the windows.
Mediavilla said the biggest threat is the power issues.
He said the failing infrastructure is still plaguing the island five years later.
“Week after week, after Maria, this has been a reality for Puerto Ricans on the island, being without power all the time,” Mediavilla said.
He is concerned for his family, as much of the island remains in the dark. While he is grateful that the devastation does not seem to be as severe as Maria, Mediavilla is worried that the recovery will be a long road.
“I am concerned that because the situation and the island have not recuperated as quickly as expected, this will set them back,” he said.
In the past week, local organizations and faith leaders have been preparing to take in possible refugees from Puerto Rico.
Orlando leaders say that White House officials have already reached out to offer assistance in the coming days.
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