Grandmother dies in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

SCOTTSVILLE, N.Y. (WROC) - 48 People have now died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria and that number is expected to rise as many without power still do not have access to quality medicine and one woman is visiting her daughter in Rochester after her mother passed.

Norma Rivera buckled down in her home on Puerto Rico during the storm.

"I thought the windows were going to be blown away because it was blowing so hard, the wind," said Rivera.

She made it through the storm, and so did her mother. But her mother, living a few miles away in Puerto Rico, did not survive. Her family believes the hurricane played a role in her death.

"She was already an elderly woman," said Rivera's daughter Vanessa Velez. "She had Alzheimer's, she had diabetes, she had other medical conditions, but I do feel that it made it happen faster."

Vanessa's grandmother died twelve days after the hurricane made landfall and with only a few funeral homes open, a proper burial would take time.

"They said they would take care of it, that she would be cremated, but it would take several days before they could do that," said Norma Rivera.

Those several days added up to a week and a half before they could lay their grandmother to rest. 

Rivera is an attorney now working out of Rochester at least for the next month while the island slowly gets power back. Norma Rivera said she plans to go back to Puerto Rico next month, but was told not to bring a generator as it may get stolen once she lands on the island.


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