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    Puerto Ricans waiting for electricity after Fiona


    September 19, 2022 - Trevor Sochocki

     

      TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hurricane Fiona is back over open waters as of Sunday evening, but not before taking its pound of flesh from Puerto Rice with Category 1 force winds and torrential rains. While hurricanes are a part of life on the island, after the long recovery from Maria five years ago, Fiona is just another devastating challenge.

      "We don't really know when the power and the electricity is going to come back," said Ana Marcial. "We really never know. It's very unpredictable."

      Marcial lives with her family in the capitol of San Juan, on the north side of the island. Besides rain, wind and a power outage since 10 a.m. September 18, that half didn't get the brunt of the damage. The south half did.

      "There's a bridge in Utuado that just collapsed because of the hurricane," Marcial said. "Because of the strong winds that are already around 85 miles per hour."

      Marcial and her family have been preparing for Fiona since September 15.

      "We prepared by filling up our kitchen, going to the supermarket, doing all of the basic stuff, acquiring all of our basic needs," Marcial explained. She said they also filled up their cars with gas and got basic hygiene items.

      But as Marcial said, Puerto Ricans like to have fun, and some have made light of the serious situation.

      "Since Thursday we have been receiving, seeing, and sending memes about Fiona and Shrek," Marcial explained with a chuckle. "Fiona, coming into Puerto Rice because she's looking for Shrek."

      Tampa Hoy reporter Yarimar Marrero is currently in Puerto Rico. In a voice recording sent to 8 On Your Side due to spotty cell service, she said, "The biggest concern are the heavy rain, floods and the people — are they in the hospital without electricity service?"

      Marrero said more than 650 people are refugees due to Fiona and all flights have been cancelled in and out of Puerto Rico.

      "The fact that we're getting another hurricane after that grace period is a little bit overwhelming for many Puerto Ricans here," Marcial said.

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