• ‘We will recover,' residents tell WFTV's Nancy Alvarez 1 year after Hurricane Maria

    By: Kelly Healey , Nancy Alvarez

    Updated:

    PUERTO RICO - On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, knocking out power and killing more than 2,000 people.

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    Channel 9 anchor Nancy Alvarez was on the island with her family, talking to residents devastated by the storm. Almost one year later, members of one family told Nancy that they finally got a new roof.

    Nancy walked through neighborhoods and noticed many homes still had blue tarps covering rooftops.

    Read: Needs go unmet more than 6 months after Hurricane Maria

    In August, Puerto Rico’s government said the official death toll was 2,975, according to CNN.

    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) admits failures occurred in its disaster response to Hurricane Maria, due in part to hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting the U.S. mainland in the weeks before.

    Hurricane Maria had an impact on Central Florida.

    Using a series of government databases, CNN found the Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford region has seen almost 3,000 new residents after the storm hit Puerto Rico.

    Many families have returned to their lives before the storm, but some never will.

    Many who died were elderly or sick and suffered without power.

     

    One year later, outages are still common across the island.

     

    Nancy said 80 percent of power poles across the island were knocked down by Maria, and power poles were seen leaning and lines running on the ground. 

     

    Read: Evacuees tell stories of perseverance, hard work year later

     

     “Does the power still go out here?” Nancy asked.

     

    “Yeah, every day,” resident Michael Garcia asked.

     

    A steady flow of tourists visit the island, and many residents said they are staying put, doing their part to rebuild the island they love.  

     

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    We will recover. We will get back this shining star of the Caribbean that we call home. We will treasure her and do the best we can with what we have available,” resident Alex Pagan said.

     

    In a Facebook post, Nancy wrote: “A reminder that this place and these people will NOT be defined by the headlines and hardships of this past year.

    Read: How to keep pets safe during a hurricane

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