MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico resources remain scarce.
Despite the challenges of washed out or debris blocked roads federal workers are finally getting supplies into the hands of those trapped in inland rural sections of the island.
Nick Prouty said he’s been flying almost daily runs to pick up the sick and drop off supplies to those stranded inland. He said from the air he’s witnessed the staggering toll of the hurricane.
“Where do these people go? There’s absolutely nothing left,” he said. “They’re in splinters.”
Most of the new deaths are from the island’s rural interior where people are still without water, without power and aid is arriving very slowly.
Estimates are that it will take months to restore electricity, despite upbeat remarks by President Donald Trump to a selected crowd in a church during his visit earlier this week.
At an inland community hospital in Utuado, Dr. Jose Villafane said he struggles to get help for his sickest patients.
“As we stabilize them and try to transfer them to another hospital, they are dying in the other settings,” he said. “there are people that we haven’t recovered yet who are dead in their houses.”
Prouty said as he flies over the interior sections of the island, he knows there is more suffering than he can see.
“We don’t see it because we can’t get to those people. No one’s going out to them yet, finding out who’s in there, who’s missing,” he said. “Literally it has to happen on a door to door basis.”
The death toll in Puerto Rico has grown to 34.