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We're OK!

Short update - I don't have time to read. Right now at a client who has internet and I have a ton of emails to take care of. Trying to get the business running again...

We made it through the storm OK. Minimal damage to the house, we lost two (out of four) water tanks.
No power, water, internet, phone.
Long lines everywhere: gas, food, water, ice. But we were prepared and are surviving OK. Generator runs, 5-6 hours per day, there's enough water and food.
In our area it may take quite a while before things will be back to normal. The main cause is the crappy state of the electrical grid.

Later more, right now getting back up and running is important.

Best regards to all!

Hey Gary
So so glad you and others are ok. Things can be replaced not people!! Been through the same here in NC from hurricane flooding and wind damage years back. Hang in there.

We are praying for everyone!!! Maybe this will finally get the Feds to steer Fed Funds to PR to start putting the underground. I know a big task, but it has to start somewhere. Will never get done unless it gets started.

God bless All in PR!!!!

Glad to hear that you are safe Gary.  Hopefully gas, food, water and other supplies start flowing more readily.

Good to hear all is well. My house in Ponce came thru with nothing major or minor as I was told. As soon as there is water, electricity and postal service I will be back. I cannot be much use to myself or anyone else until then.

That is so great to hear Gary. May God bless you, your family and everyone in PR! You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Glad that you are your family are doing well, sorry your business is taking a hit due to electricity and internet issues.

So glad to hear from you Gary! I've been worried for all those on that side of PR.

We are seeing gradual recovery on the north coast.

My friends in Hatillo report limited cell service and power is on in some areas.  No water as of last report.

Gary ..glad to hear you and some of the other folks are OK.
The latest I heard from Aguadilla was that FEMA was slow to get to the west side.

But gas is becoming more available and more stores are open.
But people can only take $200 cash from the bank.

After two weeks of no water/power , and minimal federal support.. some people are getting frustrated,

Is FEMA there in Aguadilla Rincon area yet and when did they first show?

Schuttzie :

Is FEMA there in Aguadilla Rincon area yet and when did they first show?

Don't know about Aguadilla/Rincon specifically, but FEMA was on the ground from the start, even before (because of Irma).  So too were US military assets, especially USN and Coast Guard.

Here's a USA Today story from Sept. 23.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nat … 697164001/

From what I've heard talking to my friends in Aguadilla, and through social media, they have not 'seen' much help from the federal government or their presence.

No doubt there are fema and federal folks there , especially at Ramey air base but I guess they have not been seen much distributing aid directly to the people.

They also did mention lots of armed soldiers keeping the peace, but some felt more imtimidated by them.

I've also heard two different perspectives, things are slowly getting better from one person, and things are frustrating and desperate from another.
 
Sounds like the government's logistic plan was to get the gas to the hospitals, stores, and gas stations, to run their generators,  get cash to the banks, then food/water to the stores so people could buy.

There is just long lines waiting to get cash, then waiting to get gas, then waiting to buy limited food just to repeat the process again the following day or the next.

Too me it sounds like the government did not plan well for 3 million people on a distant island being without food and water with destroyed infastructure.

The response would need to be similar to recovery of some large scale war.

I hope to know more next week when one of my other friend travels to Aguadilla.

I see the comments about electric restoration in areas. 3 Questions:

1. What areas have the highest percentage of electric restoration at this time?

2. What is the total percentage of restoration at this time? (10%, 30% 50%...)

3. Planning on coming in November or Dec. for a boots on the ground, do I need to wait?

we have tickets to return in November,  but if the power and water are still off, reschedule for a later date.

The damage to the electrical grid is the major problem. At a certain point, earlier this week, around 10% of the customers had power. This fell to around 5% because a power plant had problems/failed. Now they're back at 10, 11%.

Since power is needed for everything else (water supply, communication) a lot of households and businesses are not receiving services. The economy is taking a big blow and we haven't seen the worst yet. Since almost everybody, be it a business, government building, private house needs a working generator and fuel for it a lot more fuel is needed. Older generators that have not been maintained (a standard problem here on the island with anything that needs maintenance) are failing and need parts and repair. Stores that have a generator open limited hours, many others don't open at all.

I haven't seen a shopping mall, other than Plaza Las Americas, that's up and running. In most malls only a couple of stores and some restaurants are open. Associates have been laid off and a lot of people are planning to leave for the mainland.  Many have left already.

Supermarkets don't get all the supplies they want/need. Fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat are limited available or not at all. Gas is OK now. Enough gas stations open and no restrictions on what one can buy and no long lines. Just after the storm we would have to wait for 5, 6 or more hours to be able to buy for 5 of 10 dollars of gas, not more.

We still don't have any service in our house. Generator runs fine but I burn a lot of gas. We still have water. Using rain water for toilet flushing and laundry. Drinking water is there and we live close to a place that sells good water. The local government sent a water truck once, on Sat. 9-30 and we could fill buckets, gallons etc. After that we never heard or saw anything from the municipality. There are rumors about food being distributed but when and where is not clear. FEMA sends people to their website but nobody has internet connection. Private companies, paid by the government, I guess, are removing trees and cleaning road sides. Yesterday we finally saw action by AEE (electricity company). Along the expressway #30 they were putting up some new poles.

In towns and cities the military is helping to regulate traffic since all traffic lights are down. For the rest we don't really see or hear what the government / FEMA / municipality is doing, we feel like we're on our own.

Now,  we were prepared and we can handle it - for now. A (or better THE)  problem is that my business almost came to a complete stand still. Many clients put projects on hold. I made 200 bucks since the storm passed..

I changed my phone to AT&T and also got a hot spot with an unlimited plan from them. It costs me an arm and a leg but at least I have to possibility to connect and do some work online.

Bottom line is that the sorry shape of the electrical grid is causing a lot of the problems and if things aren't improving soon (and it doesn't look that way) many businesses will have to close the doors and lay off employees. A lot of people will move to the mainland. I might be one of them - never thought it would come to this....

I'm so sorry to hear this Gary :(  So many sad reports coming from PR and my heart goes out to all of you!  I'm glad that you checked in and are giving us truths about what is happening along with JustPeachy.  My thoughts are with you and all of PR.

Sorry to hear that, Gary, but glad to know you have your generator at least. Good luck.

Today, my friends in Hatillo report no water, no power, spotty cell connections.   More reports of rats and disease.   

I don't know how people can survive under these conditions.   Some folks had to drive to Bayamon to get bottled water!  80 mile drive, stand in line for hours and only get a few gallons.

yesterday's evening news flash your area received a super-duper generator to hook up to the water treatment grid for the area powering 11 different systems

Good to hear from Gary. And we know Peach is safe. Several more that also live in PR we haven't heard from.

When they come up for air and read the Board it might be nice for them to know those of us living the good life since 9/20 were wondering about them. I only know of 7 by Board name.

I'll start with one MIA and the rest of you guys can add a bunch of posters we have not heard from or give them a shout if you have time.

Or just mention a PR resident poster's board name who hasn't surfaced.

So here goes:

Hey Karma, I bet you wish you were back in the hills of West Virginia.

Another update: I'm sending this from my home! The AT&T hot spot picked up signal on the porch and I can us the laptop to go in the internet.
Slower than dial-up in the old days but it's an improvement for sure!

Here's the advertising from at&t currently. Had it for 4 months in PR earlier, their "Hotspot Speed" is a joke, in PR anyway, even before Maria. The AT&T map said the coastal area where I was, with no hills for miles, was 4g covered. They should be prosecuted for consumer fraud. And once you reach your limit it's a bigger fraud--128kbs ha ha ha. I dropped them after 20 years when I got back, lying dogs.

But you have no choice.

"On AT&T Unlimited PlusSM, the plan includes Stream Saver plus you get 10GB per line of a Mobile Hotspot. After 10GB, the hotspot speed is slowed to 128 Kbps. On the AT&T Unlimited ChoiceSM, data speeds are limited to a max of 3Mbps".

FWIW my hot spot plan is unlimited and when I am somewhere with good signal (right now Juncos Plaza parking) the speed is good enough.

As soon as I have internet back at home I might cancel this again..

For now this is all I can get and it sure beats having to drive to Hato Rey and work for a couple of hours at the office of one of my clients. :)

We're ok also. We were in Isabela and had a lot of damage to the trees here and the roof. Thus lots of leaks. We decided to leave PR since we didn't have any where else to go, no power since the hurricane and no water for many days after, our daughter was frantic to get us out. So she booked us a few flights and we were finally able to get on a humanitarian flight on Oct 8 to NJ.
We are currently here now and plan on driving down to Orlando with our daughter and her family next week. We made the decision to relocate to Fla.
I know my hubby isn't too happy with that decision but is doing it to make me happy and have us safe.
I pray every night for the people of PR and that they get somewhat back to normal soon. I loved the island and spent 3 1/2 years there but cannot see going back to live there anytime soon.
Good luck to all of you who are braving itbthrough, I will keep you all in my prayers.
Puerto Rico always in my heart, Tonie

We were able to take $500 from the Ath in Banco Popular in Aguadilla Mall after waiting from 3:30am to 8:30am on line. Inside you could take whatever amount you had in your account.

Since the hurricane on Sept 20, we were in our house in Isabela to Oct8 and not one FEMA person had come around. I know the son in law of the owner of our house and 3 other houses there had to go to the police precinct and then somewhere else to apply for FEMA relief.

Sitka, these are some of the reasons we left, no power and then no water for 4 straight days. We had water on during the day and off at night which was fine but then nothing. When we left we were down to 3 bottles of water that I had refilled. The rainwater which leaked into the house was used to flush the toilets.

The disease is going to be rampant and there was no garbage pick up so not a good scene. We had gone to Pla a Del Norte and only the 99 cents store was open with no lights. We had gone to Arecibo to return our Direct tv Box and the entire side of the building where their office was situated was gone. At that time some lights in Cuy and Hstillo were working but not many. Sams was closed but Home Depot was open and jammed packed with people.
Most Athabaskan are not working so you need cash and once you run out, you're in trouble or go to Aguadilla mall where Banco Popular ath is working but you got a long line.
I would seriously consider going back now even though when we were leaving from Aguadilla airport, there were flights with several people coming in.
A friend of ours is leaving next week to go to see her family and a nephew is going over to get his wife's parents to bring them back.
I will miss the island so much but as of now, I only see disaster. Take care Tonie and Ray

Tonie

Good to know you and Ray are ok and safe!  Will PM you soon.

Thank you for checking in with your update and so happy to hear you both are safe and sound!  I'm so sorry and saddened that you had to leave and relocate to FL but you must do what is necessary for you.  Maybe one day you can return to beautiful PR.  All the best to you, Toni! :heart:

Tonie, sorry to hear about your decision but it sounds like the best thing for you. Hopefully you guys will be fine in Florida.

Update from here: still no electricity, no water service. Phone and internet sometimes and when, the speed is low.
In a news paper article it was mentioned that our area could be without electricity for a year. I sure hope that's not the case but then again I wouldn't be surprised.
The Juncos major said/wrote he spent half a million to buy generators to get the water supply going. Let's see if that plan includes our (remote) area. Meanwhile I mounted a 200 gallon water tank on my pickup truck and fill it up either at a well with pretty good water around here or at a military tanker truck that is in the area most of the days. I have an electric pump to transfer the water to tanks/drums/buckets. It takes some time but it works.
I supply four houses (including ours) here with water and three with electricity for fridge, freezer, a couple of fans and some lights. The neighbors help with buying gas.

AT&T seems to be doing a pretty good job, every now and then I have service on the porch, not too far from here (Juncos Plaza) is a spot with full signal. Working in a car with laptop is not ideal but that's all we have right now. No place over there when I could sit inside for hours to work.

Stores still have limited opening hours and many articles are not there. Clorox, insect repellant (coils, spray, Off), batteries wine, beer (to mention some of the most important) is difficult if at all to be found.
Banco Popular is working good or not depending when and where you go. Last Thursday we waited only 5 minutes in a big office in Cupey/Rio Piedras (on the 177, west of the 52). In Las Piedras a neighbor spent 6 hours in line on the same day.

We get help from some awesome friends and family members that sent $$ from some local fund raisers which is more than welcome since I hardly have work.
My wife's cousins in Chicago setup a network to buy and send stuff that we and other family members here on the island really need. They insist on getting a list every week on Tuesday. Wednesday is shopping and shipping day, Friday or Saturday the package(s) arrive(s) at my step-daughter in San Juan where the USPS works great and Sunday when the family meets, here or in the metro area it's unpacking and distributing.

Here in the neighborhood meals are shared, people go shopping together so one makes a line here, another goes to another store.

As for help from the government, local or federal, FEMA, we hardly notice anything. The military water truck is helpful, we see soldiers regulate traffic. Lots of military helicopters in the air but no clue where they go and what they do there. We did apply apply online for FEMA assistance but not a word (or a penny) yet.
Radio reporters say the same, they don't know what the government/FEMA is doing to help. When they inquire they get no answers. I heard that our president rates the federal response with a mark "10". I guess that's on a scale from 0 to 100. ;)

Anyway, we're doing OK for now. We decided to keep on surviving for some time and see if there's real improvement visible after some months. If the economy (slowly) gets going again we can handle it. If not we may have to bite the bullet and leave our beloved island.

I have been following what is going on in Pr. Most help seems to be coming from individuals in Pr and the mainland, 100,s of solar lanterns have been distributed in Cidra and Adjuntas Casa Pueblo.  I have heard about people getting solar panels. It seems like solar electricity is the most efficient way to get some electricity to isolated areas.

Thank you, Gary, for checking in and updating.  Sounds like you have a "wonderful" system in place with water, generator, and your family networking supplies to you.  Seems you only get military assistance for water and no gov't help :(

Mrkpytn, that is wonderful about the solar lanterns!

Schuttzie :

Sounds like you have a "wonderful" system in place with water, generator, and your family networking supplies to you.

Not to brag but when living in the country in a hurricane area being prepared is almost a must. I have always hoped we would never need all this but now we do we're happy it works.

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