A fly-along with relief workers in Puerto Rico

Oct 6, 2017

It's day 16 without electricity for most of Puerto Rico.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Maria hit the island as a Category 4 storm, wiping out the whole power grid. As of Friday, only half of Puerto Rico had safe drinking water.

Related: The federal emergency response in Puerto Rico has been slow, and there's a long way to go

The federal relief effort for the island has been criticized as slow and insufficient.

“Since the storm, we haven’t had much assistance,” says Heidi Orndoff, who lives in a little town right outside of Fajardo.

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal personnel are there trying to help.

The World's Jasmine Garsd met some them, on a mission to deliver food and water via helicopter.

"The crew we were with today was extremely professional, extremely kind. But the reality is, Marco [host of The World], it took about three hours of bureaucracy and red tape just to take off the ground and do one mission," says Garsd. "And I don’t know how long that amount of food and water is going to last."

And there are bigger problems: How are they going to refrigerate things? How are people going to get medicine? It just felt like a drop in the bucket, says Garsd. 

To hear more about the fly-along, listen to the interview, above.

Related: On the mainland, local officials offer help to Puerto Rico


From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI