Hurricane Maria: One year later; woman copes with moving to U.S. mainland

Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Hurricane Maria: One year later. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 12:30 p.m. on September 20, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thursday marks one year since Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico.

The storm left millions without power, water, or shelter and a report last month estimated nearly three thousand people died.

Action News spoke with one woman who ended up in our area after the storm.

"I still cry because it was a big devastation in Puerto Rico like no one expected," said Lillian Rodriguez of Northeast Philadelphia.

Rodriguez' says she always gets emotional when she remembers the day her idyllic life was turned upside down.

Thursday marks one year since hurricane Maria unleashed its fury on the island of Puerto Rico where it made landfall. Nearly 3000 people were killed.

"I never thought I'd be in the U.S. I thought I was going to stay in Puerto Rico but the situation over there wasn't easy. No food, no water," said Lianny Ruiz Rodriguez of Northeast Philadelphia.

Lillian Rodriguez and her 19-year-old daughter, Lianny, fled what was left of their home and moved to Northeast Philadelphia where the Philadelphia housing authority set them up with an apartment. But her new life has come with some challenges.

"I can't complain in a way because I'm not in a position to be complaining," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says she's living in a home infested with bedbugs. She often wakes up with rashes and has had to throw away much of her belongings.

She believes the bugs were brought into the home from a couch and mattress that was donated to her. Her Calls to Philadelphia housing authority have gone unreturned.

"I'm not in the position to be asking just letting them know that the situation is getting worse," she said.

Rodriguez says she simply wants the bed bug issue resolved.

Action News did reach out to the housing authority to get a comment from them. We have not yet heard back.


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