After Hurricane Maria, a look back at the Vazquez family, lit by generator

Christmas marked 96 days since Jesse Vazquez’s house on Calle Alameda in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, lost power in Hurricane Maria.

The small generator his children brought him from New York back in October, when Yahoo News accompanied them on their journey, has since been supplemented with a larger one. In the three months since Maria first knocked out the power to the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico — who are U.S. citizens — these gas-powered machines have gone from rare commodity to backyard fixture, overpowering the neighborhood with a collective, constant drone.

“It’s intrusive, it’s an irritant. Everybody’s on edge because these things make a lot of noise,” Vazquez said recently. “I’m trying to get used to it, but I’m always glad when they turn off the generator next door.”

Mercedes MercadoMercedes Mercado

Vazquez guesses it might be a month before the lights come back on in his neighborhood — but really, he has no idea. He heard somewhere that it’s taking longer to restore power to homes where the wires run through the backyards rather than in the street — as is the case with his and most of the other homes on his block.

In the meantime, he can’t help but worry about the potential health hazards he and his neighbors may be exposing themselves to with the generators “not only from the exhaust but from the transfer of the liquid gasoline to the tanks. We’re inhaling that stuff.”

He’s also concerned by the fact that, beyond his house, most of the traffic lights in Bayamon are also still out.

“The intersections are a crazy free-for-all,” he said. “You gotta play chicken at every intersection.”

The Vazquez family still relies heavily on batteriesThe Vazquez family still relies heavily on batteries

Though the restoration of several cell towers means Vazquez no longer needs to drive to the nearest shopping center or highway hotspot to get cell service, accurate information about the progress of the island’s recovery is still hard to come by — even with a good internet connection on the mainland.

According to Status.PR, the official website used by the Puerto Rican government to display the latest updates on the state of the recovery effort, power generation across the island has been hovering between 65 and 69 percent. But as CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago recently pointed out, “generation” does not necessarily mean distribution, and that percentage reported by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or AEE, doesn’t exactly reflect how many of the island’s residents have power.

“San Juan mayor tells me about 50% of municipality has power,” Santiago, who has been closely covering the fallout of hurricane Maria in her native Puerto Rico for the past three months, tweeted this week. “Utuado mayor tells me about 30% of his municipality has power. Yabucoa..0%.”

Jesse with his uncle Pedro MercadoJesse with his uncle Pedro Mercado

Even more misleading than the “power generation” statistic provided by the AEE is the map that accompanies it. The map shows all but nine of the island’s 78 municipalities colored in a light yellow to illustrate “areas that have been energized.” Among the municipalities in yellow is Bayamon, where Vazquez and his 89-year-old mother, Mercedes, have grown accustomed to life in the dark, dedicating their generator power to the refrigerators and fans to help them sleep.

Recent reports also suggest that the human impact of Hurricane Maria has been drastically underreported.

Ever since Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, knocking out power to the entire island of 3.4 million, the official death count from the Category 4 storm has been remarkably low. When President Trump visited Puerto Rico in early October, he told local officials they could be “very proud” that only 16 people had been reported dead so far as a result of the storm — making the controversial comparison to the more than 1,800 fatalities caused by Hurricane Katrina, which he called “a real catastrophe.”

Mercedes's Bible Mercedes's Bible

Later that day, after Trump departed the island, the government announced that the official death toll had more than doubled to 34. Since then, the number has slowly climbed, reaching 64 earlier this month. But according to independent investigations by the New York Times and the Center for Investigative Journalism, the actual number of fatalities related to the hurricane is likely over 1,000.

Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello had been a staunch defender of the official death count, but in response to these latest reports, he’s ordered a review of all the deaths that have occurred since Maria hit.

Mercedes Mercado Mercedes Mercado

Though the magnitude of Maria’s devastation has yet to be fully calculated, the dire conditions created by the storm have prompted many to flee the island, accelerating a mass exodus to the mainland that had already begun in response to Puerto Rico’s financial crisis. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, more than 200,000 people from Puerto Rico arrived in Florida during the first two months after the storm. During that time same period, NBC News reported, 7,756 Puerto Rican students enrolled in public schools around the state.

Vazquez and his mother, however, are determined to stay put in Puerto Rico.

“Things are getting back to normal,” Vazquez said, noting that running water has returned to the house, and the lines of people that stretched across the parking lots of most major stores in Bayamon a couple of months ago have mostly dried up as supplies return to the shelves.

Jesse is still awaiting helpJesse is still awaiting help

A few weeks ago, Vazquez said, an inspector from FEMA came to take a look at a portion of his roof that was damaged during the storm. They told him he wasn’t eligible for aid to repair the damage, but that he could appeal the decision.

“It’s kind of humiliating,” he said, explaining that he probably will forego the appeal process. “My mom feels more like that, because it’s like begging almost, for her. We don’t want anything for nothing.”

Still, Vazquez is optimistic that things might actually be on their way to improving. Last month, with the help of his son, Vazquez was able to purchase four solar panels for his roof, which he hopes will make him less reliant on the generator. He’d long been interested in solar power, but it took the hurricane to motivate him to search for affordable panels.

Jesse with solar panelsJesse with solar panels

“One of the positives” of this experience, he said, is that “people are getting more creative in order to compensate” for the lack of amenities. “There’s a lot of inventing going on, a lot of seat-of-the-pants approach.”

“Although it caused all this distress, [Maria] did bring a lot of stuff to light and it did force a lot of people to go in certain directions that can be deemed progressive … to prepare and prevent.”


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No End in Sight For Puerto Rico Relief Effort After Hurricane Maria

Roofs have blown off homes and lives have been torn apart across the island of Puerto Rico, which still has no power. “Everything is destroyed,” one resident tells NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez.

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100% Of Puerto Rico Is Without Electricity In Wake Of Hurricane Maria

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico have been left without power. Maria devastated the territory. It flooded towns, blew out windows at hospitals and police stations, crushed homes and knocked out the entire electrical grid. Phone and internet services have also collapsed in Puerto Rico, leaving many people isolated and without communication.

Mayor of the capital San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, said: “The San Juan that we knew yesterday is no longer there. We’re looking at four to six months without electricity.” Gov. Ricardo Rossello also said “we all knew this was going to happen given the vulnerable infrastructure”. He went on to say “there’s a humanitarian emergency here in Puerto Rico….this is an event without precedent.” Felix Delgado, Mayor of the Northern coastal city of Catano said: “Months and months and months and months are going to pass before we can recover from this.”

Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years. The entire island has now been declared a federal disaster zone. The Government has hired 56 small contractors to clear trees and put up new power lines. In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it would would fly three to four military planes – carrying water, food, temporary shelter and generators – to the island every day. Rosello also said that his administration were trying to open ports as soon as possible so that they can receive shipments of food, water and other important supplies.

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See Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria from the air

PUERTO RICO (INTELLIHUB) — A birdseye view of the devastation created by Hurricane Maria’s powerful winds and waters.

Featured Image: Western Area Power/Flickr
©2017. INTELLIHUB.COM. All Rights Reserved.

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Maria: Puerto Rico Remains Largely Without Power

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is unreachable by land or phone as communications systems are shattered and vast swaths of the island are flooded.

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Hurricane Maria just wiped out ALL power on the entire island of Puerto Rico … still think prepping is a waste of time?

Image: Hurricane Maria just wiped out ALL power on the entire island of Puerto Rico … still think prepping is a waste of time?

(Natural News)
Life in Puerto Rico is about to turn medieval, thanks to the massive damage caused by Hurricane Maria, the once-in-a-century storm that just destroyed the island nation’s entire power grid.

As reported by The Washington Post, sustained gale-force winds of up to 155 miles power hour when Maria made landfall leveled buildings, flooded cities with more than 20 inches of rain, “disabled radar, weather stations and cell towers” across the country.

As the UK’s Daily Mail added, the storm also eliminated the island’s power grid, which, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said, was “a little bit old, mishandled and weak” before the storm blew through.

Asked by CNN when the nation might have power restored, Rosselló’s prognosis was grim, indeed.

“It depends on the damage to the infrastructure,” Rosselló said. “I’m afraid it’s probably going to be severe. If it is … we’re looking at months as opposed to weeks or days.”

Continuing, he said, “It’s nothing short of a major disaster.”

It’s obviously far too early to tell how soon power will be restored to Puerto Rico, but that said, there are still some Florida residents without power more than a week after Hurricane Irma laid waste to much of that state.

That means for now — and the foreseeable future — the island’s 3.3 million people have essentially been blown back into the Dark Ages, and there is just no telling when basic services will be restored. It also means that Puerto Ricans who did not prepare for a storm (or any disaster) of this magnitude will be entirely dependent on others to take care of them.

And frankly, that’s not a good place to be. It’s not a good feeling knowing that your very survival is now in the hands of other people.

The series of storms that have struck the United States and the Caribbean this year — and there are more on the way — are just the latest examples of why it is vitally important for you to be able to emerge from such disasters ready to depend on no one but yourself for help.

As summer gives way to fall, then fall gives way to winter, the potential for more natural disasters is approaching. Bitter cold temperatures coupled with massive ice and snow storms represent threats of their own to our fragile infrastructure. And while small, regional disasters can be easily and more quickly addressed, it’s the really big disasters like the one that just hit Puerto Rico that make prepping vital to survival.

Like an act of war, which could include a nuclear attack or an attack with an electromagnetic pulse weapon — which would devastate most if not all of the U.S. power grid. The same thing could happen naturally, via a massive solar storm. NASA and international space agencies are working on a space weather radar system to warn of the latter, but it won’t be operational at least until 2021, reports.

You might be thinking that no amount of prepping could ready you for an emergency of such proportions — emergencies that would undoubtedly kill off entire civilizations or come very close to it. But that’s not the case. (Related: Nightmare scenario for millions in wake of powerful hurricanes as unprepared survivors run out of food and water)

Look at it this way. Substitute the phrase “self-sufficiency” for the word “prepper.” That really changes the entire meaning of preparedness, doesn’t it? If you’re self-sufficient, you’re essentially a master prepper already.

The fact is there are millions of people in the U.S. who are quite prepared to ride out any emergency situation, short of a planet-killing scenario. Even if such an event never happens, you don’t want to end up like those poor folks in Puerto Rico.

No doubt most of them never thought they’d see a natural disaster that would destroy their entire power grid.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:



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Maria: See the Destruction the Category 5 Hurricane Left in its Wake

Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm, leaving entire islands without power.

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Puerto Rico DIRECT HIT by Hurricane Maria… interview with Dane Wigington reveals “weather weaponization” may be the culprit

Puerto Rico has just received a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, a category-4 storm with 155 mph winds at its core. The “weather bombing” of the bankrupt U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is no random event, according to Geoengineering Watch analyst Dane Wigington. In an interview conducted yesterday — to be posted on Natural News in just a few days — Wigington detailed the evidence for “weather weaponization” technology that allows powerful nations to literally steer superstorms into their intended targets.

“Local media is reporting that the Fajardo, Espíritu Santo and Rio Grande de Loiza rivers have all broken their bank,” reports the UK Express. “Terrified residents took to Twitter to reveal their accounts of eerie tsunami sirens blaring through the storm, signaling a possibly deadly storm surge of up to nine feet.”

Millions of Puerto Ricans have lost power. “Hurricane Maria’s ferocious winds continued strafing Puerto Rico late Wednesday morning, shearing off roofs, cutting power to nearly the entire island and pushing rivers over their banks,” reports the Miami Herald. Rosita Galguerra is also quoted by the paper, saying, “The house is trembling – and my house is made of concrete with a concrete roof. The winds are like out of a horror movie and it’s gusts, gusts, gusts. The island is going to be completely destroyed.”

Wigington says the string of powerful hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Maria — specifically targeting the highest density population areas of multiple states is no coincidence and not based on random chance.

Weather control technology is an irrefutable reality

Dane Wigington’s website, Geoengineering Watch, has posted a list of 175 U.S. government-approved patents that prove weather control technology exists. (Original list from The existence of weather control technology is irrefutable.

In the interview, Wigington told me that he believes various “camps” of nations and globalists have obtained weather weaponization technology over the years, via “weather weapons proliferation” that’s similar to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Several different global groups now possess the ability to “steer” weather systems directly into intended targets, says Wigington.

These guided hurricanes are “weapons of mass destruction,” he says because they kill indiscriminately and destroy civilian infrastructure. Look at the precise population density landfall location of Maria as it hits Puerto Rico:

Although he didn’t state this directly in the interview, it appears that the United States is being targeted precisely because Donald J. Trump is President. The apparent goal is to cause maximum economic destruction — a goal that was meticulously carried out by former President Barack Obama, who deliberately sought to destroy the United States of America from within by sowing cultural hatred, collapsing border security, destroying job opportunities and putting tens of millions of Americans on government welfare programs. The economic destruction that Obama began, the thinking goes, is now being continued through weather weapons and other nefarious means to destroy the pro-America Trump presidency that seeks to restore America’s economic independence.

The insidiousness of weather weapons, Wigington explains, is that its victims think the weapon is a “natural event,” so the very people being targeted and bombarded with a weapon of mass destruction have no idea they’re being attacked at all.

Everything is engineered: The food, the water, the news, the money supply…

Many people find it difficult to believe that weather systems can be engineered, yet they readily accept the reality that the food supply is genetically engineered. Municipal water systems are engineered and altered with fluoride and chlorine. The global money supply is engineered and heavily manipulated by central banks. All the news that appears in the corporate-run media is, of course, engineered to broadcast outright lies such as “the Russians stole the election.”

Human biology is engineered and altered by prescription pharmaceuticals, and even brain function is altered and engineered by psychiatric drugs. Heavy metals such as uranium and plutonium have been engineered into atomic weapons, so why is it so difficult to believe that weather systems could also be engineered through advanced technology? Mainstream scientists openly discuss methods of altering the atmosphere to block sunlight, by the way. For example, Harvard scientists have been touting their geoengineering experiments to block the sun.

Catch my full interview with Dane Wigington in the next few days on Whether you believe Wigington’s explanations or think weather modification is impossible, you’ll find the conversation intriguing and thought-provoking. Also, see for more coverage.

Via Natural News

Featured Image: BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS — Picture shows the team of Royal Marines and staff from Social Services Relief organizing aid for distribution, Hurricane Maria. (DFID — UK Department For International Development/Flickr)

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Millions Threatened by Hurricane Maria

Bill Karins, NBC News meteorologist, talks with Rachel Maddow about the intense strength of Hurricane Maria and the threat it poses to millions of people in Puerto Rico and its neighboring islands.

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life – as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise. See More

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