Video: Millions in Puerto Rico fighting to stay alive

QUEBRADILLAS, Puerto Rico (CNN) — Millions of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are fighting to stay alive.

Puerto Rico’s governor is begging the Pentagon for help after Hurricane Maria left 3.4 million people with no food, water, fuel and power.

This woman doesn’t even know who I am, but I’m the first person she’s seen land here since Hurricane Maria battered the island.

The floods, the debris, the lack of power all making already hard-to-get-to areas-even tougher to reach.

Even FEME hasn’t set foot in some parts of Puerto Rico.

We took a chopper from San Juan to remote areas largely unseen.

Like a small town next to the Quajataca dam on the northwest part of the island.

The dam has been breached and the government ordered 70,000  nearby residents to evacuate.

It is here in nearby Quebradillas I was met with such emotion.

The people, starving for assistance.

“She says if something happens to that dam, it could be just as bad as the hurricane itself.”

Communications are so poor, many are asking us to send messages to their families.

From the air, you can see why more than 3 million U.S. citizens could remain in the dark for months.

“This is the problem. This is why Puerto Rico, 100 percent of the island doesn’t have power right now. Granted, the infrastructure was vulnerable before Maria passed by, but you can see with these power lines down what the challenge is. They’re completely collapsed.”

Heading further inland, toward Utuado, the death toll is among the highest here.

This is where we meet 56-year-old Rosario Heredia. She is diabetic, just had surgery, and is unemployed. Now, she doesn’t have a home either.  This is what Maria did to her home. Water spewing from every corner. By now, she thought help would have arrived. It hasn’t.

“She’s hopeful that someone will help her to be able to rebuild this.”

Flying south to even more remote Yauco. The roads are blocked forcing us to find another way to get to this home.

Coffee growers Gaspar Rodriguez and Doris Velez tell us the problem here is food.

Most of what they have left has gone bad.

“He says you work and work and work and it’s for nothing. Because he’s lost everything.”

A common theme on an island of 3.4 million U.S. citizens, now waiting and hoping… that help is on the way.

Two Trump administration officials are surveying damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico’s governor is calling on Congress to approve an aid package for the island.

President Trump has pledged to visit Puerto Rico, but the White House says no date has been set due to infrastructure concerns.

 

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