Recovery Stifled for Puerto Ricans in Hard-Hit Town - NBC Chicago
Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Puerto Rico Recovers After Maria

Complete coverage of relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria

Recovery Stifled for Puerto Ricans in Hard-Hit Town

Cellphone service, electricity and safe drinking water are hard to come by in areas far from San Juan

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    Recovery Stifled for Puerto Ricans in Hard-Hit Town
    Brock Stoneham/NBC News
    Edgar Cortes Medina clears debris from his home after it was flooded during Hurricane Maria.

    The recovery in hard-hit areas of Puerto Rico far afield from metropolitan San Juan is being hampered by the slow restoration of cellphone service, electricity and safe drinking water two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

    “The nights are very hard because of the heat, the wet mattresses,” Ana Toribio Vargas, 62, told NBC News in Spanish from her home in the Martell neighborhood of Arecibo.

    Running water for her came back on Tuesday but it is dirty and she feels like she's "living in a nightmare."

    Emilia Burjosa Rivera had mud about an inch thick on the floor of her home. She said she got an emergency relief kit at a coliseum in Arecibo after the storm, but had not seen any Federal Emergency Management Agency workers in her neighborhood.

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    “We’re going to see how the island goes on, how it picks itself up,” her partner Edwin Cortes Medina, 47, said. “And we hope to God that help from FEMA gets here to the people who need it the most.”