Puerto Rico

CT Woman Talks About Helping Puerto Rico After Hurricane With ‘Stronger Than Maria'

NBC Universal, Inc.

High winds and heavy rain hit the island of Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Fiona, which made landfall Sunday afternoon.

The storm rocked the island almost five years to the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall.

Maria was the deadliest natural disaster on U.S. territory in 100 years.

Myriam Lorenzo, the co-founder of Stronger Than Maria, a charitable organization created as a result of Maria, said, "At least the communication has been better than Maria. During Hurricane Maria, there was no communication at all."

Lorenzo said she struggled to sleep Sunday night as heavy waters crept underneath her door.

She lives in Aguadilla which is on the northwestern coast of the island.

"We've been getting water [in] the house because it goes under the doors, but we have a couple of trees, like our avocado tree is down, our bananas our plantains are down because we have a little farm around the house," she said.

As the co-founder and president of the charitable organization Stronger Than Maria, she is responsible for reaching out to members of her community to make sure they are okay, along with replenishing supplies and helping to rebuild what was lost.

"There is house almost under water, there is more than four or five feet of water, the rivers are coming in, you know, and they will continue to flood because we still have rain," Lorenzo said.

She said the key to keeping constant communication with loved ones in Puerto Rico that are dealing with a fragile power grid is to rely on solar chargers.

"Right now, all of Puerto Rico you can hear probably the electric, the generator going on because that's the way we are doing things right now," Lorenzo said.

Over the last five years, Stronger Than Maria has helped rebuild 629 homes with just the funds from the organization, according to Lorenzo. She said she already has teams on the ground cutting trees in an attempt to stay ahead of the damage.

Members of her team will be surveying nearby towns and assessing the damage so they can figure out what supplies are needed.

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