Hurricane Maria Worries Puerto Rico Natives in the Valley

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EDINBURG – As Hurricane Maria continues to gain strength, Puerto Rico, an island straight in its path, is issuing a state of emergency.

The dean of the liberal arts college, Walter Diaz, at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley said he always keeps an eye on the island where he was born.

"It is very worrisome both for the family and for everyone. There are 3.4 million people living there," said Diaz.

Diaz was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He moved to the Rio Grande Valley six years ago. Right now, most of his family is still over there.

"Both, I and my wife's my parents are there; her parents, sister and rest of extended family is mostly over there," said Diaz.

He said he is in constant contact with his family as they brace for what's to come.

"They have water reserves about 600 gallons, they have a generator at home, a pump for the water, they have steel shutters for the windows and glass doors," said Diaz.

Diaz said the island is still recovering from Hurricane Irma, "As of today, there is still thousands of people without power on the island. Last I checked, about 10 to 20 percent were without power."

He adds this can make it difficult for after the storm passes, "It becomes complicated because you us up a lot of resources recovering from the previous one and now just 2 weeks after you need to start prepping for another one."

In previous hurricanes, Diaz said some places didn't have power for months.

Another thing which worries Diaz is river flooding and landslides, which happened during other big storms.


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