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Hurricane Maria

Homes lay in ruin as seen from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations, Black Hawk during a flyover of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Credit Kris Grogan / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

As Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the region recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria, WNPR is committed to telling the stories of residents with ties to Connecticut.

If you have loved ones in Puerto Rico and want to share your story, please email us at news@wnpr.org.

Coverage of Hurricane Maria from WNPR, the New England News Collaborative, and NPR:

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

A little more than a week after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the island has struggled to get the power back on, food and water distributed, and communication outside the capital of San Juan.

Communication is one of the most urgent needs in Puerto Rico. Government officials must connect with each other to coordinate recovery efforts, and residents want to reach out to loved ones. Three-quarters of the island has no cell phone signal. Maria's fearsome winds knocked out all but about 100 of the island's 1,600 cell towers.

But the town of Guayama found a way to stay in touch.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

With water and food a concern in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, some Connecticut residents are looking to help. Gathering supplies is one thing; getting them to the island is another.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

Millions of people in Puerto Rico need fuel, water, food and medicine. More than a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, major infrastructure is still down. Stores have trouble filling their shelves. Families are running low on the supplies they stockpiled before the storm, and across the island, many residents say they haven't seen any aid deliveries.

Meanwhile, at the port in San Juan, row after row of refrigerated shipping containers sit humming. They've been there for days, goods locked away inside.

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Dr. Robert Fuller visited five primary clinics in Puerto Rico Wednesday -- gong clockwise around the island from San Juan to Arroyo and then north to Caguas.  

Diane Orson / WNPR

One week after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, the U.S. Defense Department said 80 percent of the island’s electricity lines are damaged and nearly half its residents are without drinking water.

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Most of Puerto Rico still has no power or running water one week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As Puerto Rico begins a slow recovery from Hurricane Maria's destruction, many Puerto Ricans in Connecticut are struggling to find ways to help  family members in need of food and water.

The Department of Homeland Security is considering a request by members of Congress to waive shipping restrictions to Puerto Rico, senior DHS officials said Wednesday.

The request is to waive restrictions under the Jones Act, which restricts shipping of goods between U.S. coasts to U.S.-flagged vessels (as opposed to foreign-flagged vessels).

Ken Cedeno / International Medical Corps

Robert Fuller was loading his car with supplies in San Juan, getting ready to leave the battered capital for a trip inland to survey damage to local health facilities, when we caught up with him by phone.

Students, families and many school staff in Holyoke, Massachusetts, are still desperate for news from relatives in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit last week.

Kris Grogan / U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico devastated, without electricity, running water and months if not years of recovery ahead. If you were watching cable news, though, the crisis was overshadowed by President Trump's rally speech and tweetstorm denouncing NFL players protesting during the national anthem.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

In a tiny sliver of shade, on a hill next to Puerto Rico's Route 65, Kiara Rodriguez de Jesus waves a sparkly pink hand fan to keep cool.

"I trust in God," she says. "Please, come the gas."

Along with her family, parked in a Volvo SUV, she has been in line for gasoline since 3 a.m., she says. Now it's after 1:30 p.m. And like everyone else at this gas station, she has no idea how much longer she'll be waiting.

Irma Rivera Aviles, like nearly 200 others, is stuck at a shelter in Cataño, Puerto Rico, where conditions are getting worse daily. Nearly a week after Hurricane Maria rampaged through the country, she's desperately pleading for help. "The governor needs to come here and take a look at our critical situation," she says. "The bathrooms flooded and aren't working, sewage is overflowing, the generator is broken and we are here in the dark."

"We desperately need water, power and ice," she says.

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