ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — Those with Puerto Rican heritage around Rochester are sharing a firsthand look at what they and their loved ones are dealing with after Hurricane Fiona made landfall.
One of the board members for the Rochester Puerto Rican festival has been stuck down there on the island while Hurricane Fiona passed through. Even with the worst of the storm past them, people are still in danger from flooding and landslides.
Elizabeth Rosa was visiting a friend in the City of Carolina when Fiona hit. She says since Saturday, the rainfall has been almost non-stop. Causing houses to slide off their foundation and roads to be engulfed.
“There are houses in rivers now and creeks as well,” Rosa stated. “So, there are some citizens staying in shelters and schools with the staff cooking for them.”
Because of poor signals, our only way to contact Elizabeth was by phone as she waits out the storm. Because of how a lot of home infrastructure works, no power also means no running water.
“We were one of the lucky ones to have that last the longest,” Rosa continued. “But our surrounding areas lost power mid-day Saturday and running water as well.”
“These are areas where they don’t have full plumbing systems, the electricity units are low budget,” Erika Rivera-Arguinzoni added. “So, any windstorm that comes just knocks things right out of the way and it takes things months to get back up and running.”
Erika Rivera-Arguinzoni still has relatives living on the south side of Puerto Rico. She’s been in constant contact with them since Fiona made landfall. They just relocated to a shelter as the land around their home washed away.
“A lot of mudslides with rainfall so there’s some flooding in areas and houses are falling down as well,” Rivera-Arguinzoni said. “As the water rises in different areas lines can be down and worst thing you can do is get into some areas of water.”
If you would like to help those impacted by Hurricane Fiona, the Ibero American Action League of Rochester has been holding meetings all day to see how they can address the needs of the island.
Hurricane Fiona has continued to the Dominican Republic where it made landfall earlier Monday.