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North Jersey concerned for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

24 Setiembre 2017

"I know St. John is still the worst of it in terms of the extent of the damages".

Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico has worked since 1985 for improved education, housing and economic development in communities across the island. We're joined now by Michael Fernandez.

The Jersey City Puerto Rican Heritage, Arts and Culture organization planned a hurricane relief event scheduled for Sept. 30.

Mr. Fernandez, thanks for being with us. What are your immediate needs right now?

MICHAEL FERNANDEZ: We have all sorts of immediate needs.

New photos on Twitter show that Puerto Rico is also dealing with catastrophic flash floods.

The Caribbean is hurting today. So hopefully, this will help to open the streets.

As people took stock of the damage, officials are warning it could be months before power is restored on the island. With power out, there are fears of looting and chaos breaking out. Obviously, we have had hurricanes before.

Maria is not expected to threaten the United States mainland.

President Trump tweeted the island's governor expressing his concerns for the safety of its residents.

FERNANDEZ:.And it's because there is no electricity.

And that rain will continue to soak parts of the island even as the center of the hurricane moves away. However, we were not able to get through after multiple attempts. And now I'm starting to see it, for the first time, the water to go down. But in rural areas, in an urban areas, flatlands, highlands - there is flooding everywhere.

FERNANDEZ: Well, the big problem that we're having has been a lake called Guajataca.

According to PRFAA, anyone looking to "make donations and/or volunteer" can also contact them by either calling them at 202-800-3134 or emailing them at Among the items requested are emergency supplies like mosquito repellant, medicine to treat diarrhea, diapers, baby formula, canned pet food, and first-aid kits. It's a very old dam, and so it's just not working. So they have evacuated two main towns and all the communities or neighborhoods that live around the lake.

To help as these areas rebuild, consider donating to these groups, many of which have ties to local grassroots organizations. And we had a situation similar to what happened in Texas with Harvey.

North Jersey concerned for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria