WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Puerto Rico is still feeling the impact from Hurricane Maria, the storm that killed more than 500 people.
Wichitan William Santiago’s aunt and grandmother live in Puerto Rico, lost power and nearly lost their homes in the hurricane.
“You feel a little helpless,” said Santiago. “But, I’ve got to say, I’m grateful for the efforts the people have done.”
After several months, Santiago’s family in the city of Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, finally have power again.
“I am happy that they do got power,” he said. “It’s been very emotional, especially for my mom that lives in Florida.”
His aunt’s home was severely damaged during the hurricane after her roof was torn off, causing her and three other family members to move in with his 87-year-old grandma.
Until Sunday, they faced several drawbacks, including being without electricity.
“The challenge is boiling water,” said Santiago. “They would have to go all to a water point, collect water and still boil it.”
Now, that they have power again, at least in their area, the next step may be the most difficult.
That is the process of reconstruction.
“Now, it’s all up to the U.S. government, FEMA and whatever donations people can give to help rebuild the people that lost their homes there,” said Santiago.
He reminds people that changes won’t happen overnight.
And, they require the help of more than just those experiencing the damage.
“This is not old news for me,” said Santiago. “I live it everyday. Every day I live it. And, I worry everyday.”
He says now that his family’s power is back, he plans on visiting them over the summer, to help them clean up.