Is Puerto Rico a Global Model for Disaster Recovery?
In the Wake of Three Hurricanes—And Centuries of Exploitation—Islanders Turned to One Another for Relief
When Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022, the U.S. colony had still not fully recovered from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, in 2017. Collapsed bridges had not been rebuilt, houses still lacked roofs, and most recovery funds had not been distributed.
Fiona’s rains only added to the woes, causing house collapses on the interior part of the island, devastating mudslides, and a widespread power outage that lasted for weeks. There was no drinking water: The Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority failed to acquire power generators before the storm …