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P.R. A.M. - P.M.

http://www.wftv.com/news/local/fema-say … /634621706

The Displaced Persons Act from WW II, PR version 2017. THE best thing Uncle has done since 9/20.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-p … SKBN1D22XE

News that Trump has increased the fed coverage of the PR rebuilding cost.   :)

This is from the Atlantic 6 AM Eastern today, 03 NOV 17:

"A second contract with a company hired to rebuild Puerto Rico’s all but collapsed power grid is coming under scrutiny, drawing the attention of federal investigators and members of Congress even as most of the hurricane-ravaged island remains without power.* The news of a second faulty contract is also raising questions about the contracting process for the island’s government-owned power company, the  Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority (PREPA)."

And the worst news is, as follows:

"But now, in the wake of recent scandals over contractors hired to fix that very grid, some experts expect the timeline for full recovery to last well into next year."

I'm wondering how property owners that made their way back, or plan to make their way back, will deal with this. Where are the EPA reports showing that the water supply is potable? In the absence of these, how can anyone be certain that the water table, similar to the electric grid, isn't also in for long-term rehabilitation?

I found a nice, i.e., expensive, place in Guaynabo and asked the owner, via email, if it had luz and agua. The person wrote back that they had no idea! This was a realtor. How can anyone pretend to rent property without even knowing if it has power and water?

Good q. Probably indicative of the beginning of the days of uncertainty about stuff normally one would take for granted. Intelligent people like the posters on this forum will be talking abut this tragedy for decades.

Many super posters providing great info and comments and food for thought in this forum in the now recently freer atmosphere which should have been the norm.

When the other regulars get back, this will be a fantastic place.

I'm sorry to the few of this board that live in PR and who are enduring, or like Peach had to leave those she loves in PR for awhile.

Sorry also for you who had plans about living in PR whose dreams are now back-burnered. Dreams are NOT meant to be broken.

Happy trails to you until we ...etc,   from dgdlaw

My husband and I returned to Florida after our house was destroyed in Humacao. We managed to get flights two and a half weeks after Maria passed through. We hope to start rebuilding when running water and electricity are restored in the area. Our prayers are with everyone still enduring hardship in Puerto Rico.

We are planning to return to the island in January if utilities are all on.  But I have several concerns about obvious trends that may degrade the quality of our life in PR in the near foreseeable future.   

Friends:  We have had several friends, mostly native PR, that have had family members, young adults, some professional, some working middle class types, leave PR to the US in search of jobs because of lack of opportunity on the island.  As this trend accelerates post Maria, the folks who work, pay taxes, have kids in school and contribute to the community will decline dramatically.  Lots of good folks are forced to flee.

Decline in property values:  Already depressed, the real estate market will drop fast.  The increase in vacant and abandonded property will accelerate.  The remaining tax base shrinks.

If you have property that you need to sell for any reason, you are screwed.

Medical services:  The number of physicians leaving has been well reported.  I know a few on the island, they have told me that they are only there due to family or aging parents, but plan to leave as soon they pass.   

If you need a specialist for anything, you may need to fly out to see your doc. 

General economy:  I predict we will see many small business fail.  How can they survive in an economy without power and water for months and months?  Tourism is now dead.

I know that I have been harping on the gloom and doom forecast, and I hope I am dead wrong - but so far, all I have seen is very negative.   :sosad:


What do you all think??

Nanraughley :

My husband and I returned to Florida after our house was destroyed in Humacao. We managed to get flights two and a half weeks after Maria passed through. We hope to start rebuilding when running water and electricity are restored in the area. Our prayers are with everyone still enduring hardship in Puerto Rico.

So sorry to hear that but glad to hear you and your husband are OK.
No clue how long it will take before water and power are available in your area - we're still without both but we manage with the generator and water that I get from a well and distribute here among the neighbors and ourselves.

Sitka :

What do you all think??

Honestly I don't know what to think.
We're still surviving OK but no clue how long we can keep on doing this.
The only thing that really improved (for us) is communication. I have internet and phone connectivity, both via AT&T in my house. Not water, no electricity. I spend a lot of time and effort to get water and help direct neighbors (7 houses meanwhile) The generator is working fine (helping two neighbors with power for fridge, a fan, some lights) but I burn a lot of gas, spending roughly four times more than I normally would spend on electricity.
Electricity is the main problem. If that's not restored fast, to start with for businesses, stores (assuming hospitals and other medical services have been connected) I don't see the economy bounce back.
There are reports that already 15% of the population moved to the states after Maria and many are preparing to go.
We decided to stay and try to make the best of it. Let's see how long we last...

Gary,  I see you are in Juncos.  I have not been in that town yet, but it must be in the mountains?  Fairly rugged terrain like most of the interior?

Areas that are difficult to repair power lines will be without power the longest.  I don't envy you, this is a very difficult situation.  It is great that you and neighbors are helping each other!  ( Grandma said God helps those who help themselves).   Are you able to get food and stuff in local stores?

Most recent news articles report the island is still 70% dark.  Power generation stations have been restored to 60% pre storm capacity, but without transmission lines it doesn't help get the lights on.

Sitka :

Gary,  I see you are in Juncos.  I have not been in that town yet, but it must be in the mountains?  Fairly rugged terrain like most of the interior?

Juncos town is in the valley, along the expreso #30. We're in the hills/mountains all the way south in the Juncos area - fairly rugged, yes.

Sitka :

Areas that are difficult to repair power lines will be without power the longest.

Yup, we're used to that. We're always among the last to be reconnected to water and power. 

Sitka :

Are you able to get food and stuff in local stores?

Yes, stores are sort of operating normally and we can buy all the food we need.

What the island really needs is to get businesses, shopping malls etc. up and and running. Electricity should be connected there first! That will get the economy started again slowly and it will stop more people from packing and going.

Friends in my town, Hatillo, report many businesses along Rt 2 have opened.  I don't know if they have regular power or are running on generators.  The grocery stores, Walmart, Sam's, etc are open.  Gas stations open.

Some areas have power, some do not, including my house.  But our water is back on.    :)

Same in Vega Baja, most of #2 has power but not in the residential areas, Dorado and Rio Piedras had power but went out again, the system is very fragile, it's going to be awhile like this I think. At least we got water back 2 days ago.

Having sores open does not help the people that have no jobs unless they work for a store. I am sure even the ones with a job are spending well above normal with expenses for gas for the generator, gas for the car, many hours lost in lines at stores, no availability of some items like fresh meat due to lost of refrigeration.

I guess I count myself lucky that my plans changed to summer next year when most of the issues will be iron out. My original plan was for summer this year and had I not had to wait for the wife operations, I would have been in the middle of that mess. It would have been one pissed off wife.

Nanraughley :

My husband and I returned to Florida after our house was destroyed in Humacao. We managed to get flights two and a half weeks after Maria passed through. We hope to start rebuilding when running water and electricity are restored in the area. Our prayers are with everyone still enduring hardship in Puerto Rico.

Sorry about your home, all I can asume is that it was a wooden house. I was not aware any of the expats were purchasing wood houses.

Will you rebuild in concrete this time?

Yes, it was a three-story house with two wooden levels and a bottom level of poured concrete. The house had been there since the 1950s and had withstood several hurricanes, including Hugo and Georges. Maria was an entirely different animal. I think the elevation added to the problem. Anyway, the top two floors are gone along with all of our furniture and new appliances -- well, basically everything. We rode out the storm in the lowest level. We're fine and praising God for our wonderful Puerto Rican neighbors who helped us clear the driveway so that we could get our car out. They also brought us lunch as we were trying to clean up the debris of our house and pitched in to help us. What great people! We had packed suitcases as if we were going on vacation and put the luggage downstairs with water and food, so we were prepared to leave if the house was damaged. We were a little too optimistic -- perhaps because our new roof didn't leak a drop during the tropical force winds of Irma, and the house was solid, not a shimmy or a shake. Maria would have to pay a visit our first year in PR! We're back in Florida for now and hope to rebuild -- with poured concrete -- when we return.

You are very fortunate to escape such a horrible event!  Being on the east end, I'm sure you took a direct hit at peak strength!! 

We rode out Ike (cat 3) direct hit in friends house.  Wood stick built two story in Texas.  We were in the upstairs bed room.  I thought the roof might come off several times, worst experience ever!

The PR people are golden!

Sitka, I have the same concerns. I have two nephews with me who left Puerto Rico 4 weeks after hurricane Maria. They are looking into continuing there education at one of the colleges here in New York. For now, they have no intention of returning to Puerto Rico.

On a positive note, I believe, Maria could be a blessing in disguise.

1. Many Americans had no idea that we are a part of the United States. We're Americans.  So, it could be that many will consider moving here once the dust settles.

2. PREPA, is government run and totally corrupt. It's been that way for decades. Thanks to "whitefish", the Feds have moved and taken control. Enough abuse!  Soon it will become a private entity and hopefully one that will promote green energy solutions.

3. Tesla Technology is in talks with governor Rosello about rebuilding the electrical infrastructure.
If this is successful, it could result in green energy solutions, just what a tropical island needs.

4. As Puerto Rico moves forward with these projects,  many will see Puerto Rico as the go to place in the near future.  5 years?  Maybe. at some point, many will wish they made their move a lot sooner than that.

5. The Jones Act. Finally, everyone understands a topic I've been complaining about for years.
With enough awareness and campaigning against it, eventually it will be repealed.

That's my optimistic point of view, and I hope I'm at least half right.

ReyP :

Can solar panel withstand hurricaneqs cat 5?
It is not just the winds it is also the flying projectiles and water penetration into the electronics like a mist or spray under force.

Maybe if they were foldable into the inside of a tank and unfold again after the storm they may do fine.

Hi Ray, the solar panels of my frienf survived and  she is one of the only lucky ones who has electricity since Maria up in the hills of Mayagüez. :)

Marion-Olga :
ReyP :

Can solar panel withstand hurricaneqs cat 5?
It is not just the winds it is also the flying projectiles and water penetration into the electronics like a mist or spray under force.

Maybe if they were foldable into the inside of a tank and unfold again after the storm they may do fine.

Hi Ray, the solar panels of my frienf survived and  she is one of the only lucky ones who has electricity since Maria up in the hills of Mayagüez. :)

That is good to know, thanks.
I am sure some standards will get better after Maria, so they should be able to stand even more in the future.

Somebody in the neighborhood has like 8 panels on the roof and they made it through the storm just fine, same with 12 panels on the roof of friend's house in Guaynabo. Obviously they are pretty sturdy and when mounted right a hurricane won't hurt them.

Gary,  Tell us how the panels are mounted.  Flat on roof or at an angle? 

I am considering a flat mount to avoid catching any wind under the panel, will also minimuize exposure to flying debris.

The roof in the neighborhood is at an angle itself and the panels are mounted flat  on it. I'll try to take a photo one of these days.
The ones in Guaynabo are at an angle on a frame on a flat roof.
Obviously both methods work fine if done right.
Finding an installer that foes the job right may be a challenge...

https://www.foryourpics.com/images/2017/11/11/2017-11-1110.11.38.md.jpg

I think the angle used in a lot of the states is around 15 degrees, but since PR is closer to the equator and recives light more directly the angle needed would not be as steep. Just a guess on my part but closer to 10 degrees or maybe less, but that is a guess on my part.

Ideally you should be able to change the angle and do this every couple of weeks or so.
Check this: http://solarelectricityhandbook.com/sol … lator.html
The best angle for PR varies from 48 deg from vertical in December to 96 deg. in June.

Since most people won't do this one should decide when the best performance is needed -I would guess summer, to power fridge, freezer, A/C- and choose the angle for that season. 10 degrees from horizontal (80 from vertical) sounds about right.

Yesterday night, 55 days after the hurricane, our water service was restored.
It's gonna take some adjustments in our daily routine.  :D

Hey Gary,
Not sure how you running your remote admin service given no internet and no power.

ReyP :

Hey Gary,
Not sure how you running your remote admin service given no internet and no power.

Generator power and internet from my  AT&T hot spot that I bought after Maria.
In the first weeks after the storm I was always running around with a laptop and trying to find a place with wifi.  After I got that hot spot I could be found a lot in Hato Rey, the Popular Center, where they had generator power operating the whole building including the lobby with coffee shops, restaurants etc.
Many people like me were working there, sharing extension cables and power bricks and using their hot spots..

Just got a call from my internet provider that they restored power to their equipment on the towers where they have their antennas and routers. They bought and installed solar panels and batteries - good move!
Today a tech will come and check the antenna on the roof and when needed adjust or replace and then we should have our regular internet connection back.

Internet antena?
Are you using satelite internet service?

Just received this message from my friend in PR.      "Los mosquitos son insoportables".

"the mosquitoes are unbearable".

Sitka :

Just received this message from my friend in PR.      "Los mosquitos son insoportables".

"the mosquitoes are unbearable".

Less people to bite, so they have a food issue.

ReyP :

Internet antena?
Are you using satelite internet service?

Microwave to the next tower, fiber from there. 25-30 Mbps down, 10-15 up
In our neck of the woods the only wired option is a crappy telephone cable and Claro won't guarantee more than 2 Mbps.

Sitka :

JLos mosquitos son insoportables.

Mosquito coils are not available on the island - we get them (5 times more expensive than normal) from Amazon.
We also use (rechargeable) battery powered fans at night (no generator at night) to chase them away.
Then I fixed some of the screens and we try to keep screen doors closed at all time.
They only seem to like to bite my at my ankles so I spray off a couple of times per day.
All the above seems to work pretty good.

Gary what that set up for Internet cost a month?
Do you also get a permanent IP address?

ReyP :

Gary what that set up for Internet cost a month?
Do you also get a permanent IP address?

I pay $60/month for this. No static IP (but I get by with a paid account at NoIP.com)

I would love that setup Gary. What is your ping time?

20, 30 ms

Gary :

20, 30 ms

Very good ping, gamers can use that service also.

Word coming out of Aguadilla is most of the town has water, and power was recently restored to downtown.
My concrete house faired fine. 
Wood houses near me were destroyed, and lots of metal roofs gone.

Crash boat beach obliterated , where like half the beach was eroded and buildings destroyed.
But they are already putting the place back together.

I am anxious to get back there and start renovating my new vacation home.
Just waiting for the power to get turned on in my neighborhood then I’ll book my trip.

Despite the destruction, finance issues, I am confident the island will recover eventually.
Real estate will drop more, big money will scoop it up and investment will come back to the island within 5-10 years.
Rosello asked for $95 billion which is a significant amount IMO.
Congress didn’t rebuff him, but said there would be strong oversight and strings attached given their past mismanagement.

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