Hurricane Fiona blasted Puerto Rico on Sunday, leaving most people without electricity or running water as the week continued.
The blow from Fiona was made more devastating because Puerto Rico has yet to recover from Hurricane Maria, which destroyed the power grid in 2017. Five years later, more than 3,000 homes on the island are still covered by blue tarps. Authorities said Monday at least 2,300 people and some 250 pets remained in shelters across the island.
By Tuesday morning, authorities said they had restored power to more than 285,000 of the island’s 1.47 million customers. Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, warned it could take days before everyone has electricity. Water service was cut to more than 837,000 customers — two thirds of the total on the island — because of turbid water at filtration plants or lack of power, officials said.
City and state officials in New York are working to help. Gov. Kathy Hochul said state troopers were going to Puerto Rico. Mayor Eric Adams said a team of emergency management specialists would be deployed.
“We are in constant contact with those on the ground and are determining how we can be most helpful in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.
PIX11 is proud to support the Hispanic Federation in an effort to help those in need. The group is already on the ground in Puerto Rico providing emergency relief services and essential supplies to the communities most affected by the storm.
With residents struggling, there are ways you can help.
The list below will be updated as more relief efforts launch:
- A number of organizations are accepting donations. You can give to Global Giving, which is working to provide food and emergency medical supplies. The organization is also providing shelter, clean water and hygiene products. Global Giving will also use donations to support long-term recovery efforts.
- Hispanic Federation is also accepting donations to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
- Taller Salud and PX PR are also organizations helping.
- Stronger Than Maria, an organization launched in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, is also accepting donations for Fiona relief.
- Over in Suffolk County, residents can bring donations to collection bins at each of the county’s police precincts, officials said Tuesday. There will also be a collection bin at Police Headquarters in Yaphank. They’re taking donations of toiletries, nonperishable food products, personal hygiene products, and baby products, including diapers. Donations will be accepted through Sept. 30 when they will be sent to residents of Puerto Rico.
- In New Jersey, a Puerto Rican Parade and Festival is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 25. Organizers are encouraging attendees to bring canned foods, water and nonperishables to donate. People interested in giving can look for the ASSPEN tent.
- Paterson, NJ is asking people to donate nonperishable and hygiene items. The city is also planning a relief drive in October.
Hurricane Fiona slammed the Dominican Republic, the first hurricane to score a direct hit on the country since Hurricane Jeanne left severe damage in September 2004. A day after the storm knocked out power and water to most of the island, Hurricane Fiona unleashed even more rain on Puerto Rico on Monday. The storm stripped pavement from roads, tore off roofs and sent tourists pouring into homes.