Puerto Ricans leave for US mainland as storm woes linger

MIAMI (AP) — Lourdes Rodriguez fled Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria filled her home in the northern town of Vega Baja with mud, ruining mattresses and other belongings. She thought it would be a short stay with her daughter in Florida, but three weeks later there’s still no power or water back home.

In San Juan, Efrain Diaz Figueroa, 70, sat listening to a battery-powered radio amid the wreckage of his home, its walls collapsed into the yard and clothes and mattresses soaking in the rain. A sister was coming to take him to family in Boston.

Tens of thousands of islanders left for the U.S. mainland to escape the immediate aftermath of the storm. With conditions back home still grim, many find themselves scrambling to build new lives away from the island.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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