Edit:I’m at my parents apartment right now charging my phone. They have power. Just wanted to give the world a friendly reminder that half of Puerto Ricans still don’t have power, 70 days after hurricane Maria hit back in September. We just broke New Zealand’s world record of longest peacetime blackout. Take that New Zealand!

Proof: https://imgur.com/gallery/vs0R0Bn

Twitter with on the ground coverage and complaining: @hurricaneperson

Edit: Just saw a plantain truck. Not all is lost. Pic on my Instagram: @kristianbob1

Comments: 1302 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

Koovies740 karma

What are you eating and drinking? Are you making any money? Or is the community just in full blown recovery mode with all business shutdown?

nopuedeser763 karma

I still have a job. My office is running on generator.

xGalasko163 karma

Didn't you do an ama before?

nopuedeser713 karma

Yes! When I was 54 days without power. Just want people to know this is still going on down here. Some down here are expected to be without power through March of 2018.

thermoplastics65 karma

Just for comparison sake, it took 1 month to get power back on in Slidell Louisiana after Katrina. That is a large suburb of New Orleans, with interstates and highways that surround the whole town, 3 major metropolitan cities untouched by the storm within a 6 hour drive in multiple directions, and at least 6 airports close by.

Considering the already existing failing power infrastructure, mountainous landscape. and the fact that you are on an island, what would you say the expected time frame to fix your grid should have been?

nopuedeser53 karma

The same, with more manpower.

bucketohjimmies423 karma

What is it like outside? Are there crews constantly working to bring the power back up, or is the issue being neglected? How are the people who live around you helping each other out through this absurdity?

nopuedeser706 karma

If you’re on the road you might see one or two crews driving around, but it does not seem to me to be the massive turnout required for this type of emergency in America.

Dayemos331 karma

How much of this do you blame on say the Federal government vs the local government?

nopuedeser966 karma

Lot of blame on local government for just being so damn bad at managing money (probably really good at stealing it), and blame on lack of longterm interest from Federal politicians. Also the media. If this was Boston without power for 70 days, this would be a constant news story.

JasonsBoredAgain956 karma

I'd like to agree...but...Flint Michigan would probably disagree.

nopuedeser616 karma

You’re right. I now understand their struggle.

despaxes14 karma

Yeah, you don't have readily available clean drinking water either, right?

nopuedeser30 karma

No. There is a boil warning in effect.

ArabianGoogles67 karma

Not OP but I live in San Juan and have been active in relief work. Local governments mismanaged plenty before the hurricanes. Federal has mismanaged most everything since. For example, there is a mountain of beaurocracy (I’ve never been able to spell that word) for me, representing an aid group, to pore through in order to get a pallet of water delivered to a hard hit community. Why? Because there were early reports of mayors etc stealing them (I was told a “handful” of incidents).

So fema installed tighter controls. Which is a major fuck up because retail value of a pallet of water is literally $400, fema cost might be half of that. So why not just drop another pallet of water, or two or three? MAKE SURE PEOPLE HAVE WATER, for example? Nope. Instead fema made it a mess and super difficult for anyone to even step in and assist in the many ways that fema was falling short. The optics of free flowing water would have driven DOWN the likelihood anyone would steal it. Instead they made water even more scarce and hijackings etc picked up some and the controls got even tighter.

There are many other examples. Feds mismanaged this in a myriad of ways. Local govt too, but the feds are the reasons why people continue to die.

TheOldGuy5929 karma

For example, there is a mountain of beaurocracy (I’ve never been able to spell that word)

It's spelled "a-s-s-h-o-l-e-s". They exist to make other people's lives miserable.

nopuedeser13 karma

This is Kafka Island

TrendWarrior101155 karma

Do you personally receive any help from our government or your National Guard? Just curious. How do you have power while typing this?

nopuedeser381 karma

Today someone from FEMA came to inspect the damages from the storm at my house. They were minimal, thank God. I was at my parents apartment charging my phone and also a friendly redditor sent me a solar battery to charge it as well after my last AMA.

huff_le_fluff94 karma

Who is actually helping you guys? Are any people who say they're helping are really just screwing people over?

nopuedeser145 karma

I don’t know, man. All I know is things are moving super slow.

domeslappa42020 karma

I just want to let you know buddy that my Uncle is down there working on getting your power back. I don't know too many details about where exactly you are or where exactly he is but I know that if he is working on the problem that they have one of their best people on it. Just hold on a little longer friend!

nopuedeser9 karma

Thanks! I will. Nice to hear.

naughtydawgy67 karma

So I've been watching many Snapstorys happening in Puerto Rico to track the development of repairs and current state of affairs. While this is a random sampling and most folks generally post their living highlights, it has me wondering a few things:

*Is there anything out there that you consider is quite critical that is still offline?

*Anything significant that we may be missing due to unavailability of cell phone reception/power or even the perhaps not as glamorous living conditions that are likely not posted onto the SnapMap as for the world to see?

*How has the the shortage of power affected your daily well-being asides from having continous access to your cellphone and such? If so, what struggles are you facing?

I appreciate you doing this AMA for us inquisitive folks, bless your heart, and may you along with the rest of Puerto Rico keep your high spirits up!

nopuedeser71 karma

Power is extremely critical. I had no idea how much. No power means no fridge, so having to eat canned food.

elRobRex54 karma

¿Quieres una beer?

nopuedeser79 karma

Haha gracias. I don’t drink. But thanks.

zyxwvutsrqp0nm23 karma

How do you do it?!?

nopuedeser104 karma

Meetings.

LucaDaFloof49 karma

From what I've read there's a mass migration from PR to the states that's been going on for a few years. Do you think the hurricane is causing even more people to leave? Do you know people that are leaving or people that are coming back to PR?

nopuedeser224 karma

Oh yeah. About 150,000 have left to Florida only. They expect it to reach 500,000. You better learn to say Swing State in Spanish.

Syncopayshun20 karma

Ignorant here, can PR residents vote in US elections? Google is kinda ambiguous.

nopuedeser46 karma

NO we can't. Only primaries.

gbimmer41 karma

Has your experience in this changed your opinion of the local politicians you and others around you keep voting into office?

nopuedeser114 karma

For the record, no one I have voted for has ever won. Also, no one’s opinion is going to change. Politics are like a sport here, no way they are changing teams mid season.

fredbnh34 karma

Yeah, but how are you fixed for paper towels?

nopuedeser53 karma

Using them as fireplace fuel. Kidding, I’m good on paper towels.

Helvetimusic30 karma

What part of the Island are you on? How the hell did you get internet access? Are there still crazy ass food shortages? What about the Dam that was about to pop?

nopuedeser68 karma

I live in San Juan, the freaking capital, in an area called Urbanizacion Roosevelt.

broke_man27 karma

How much of the country was without power before? Also you guys are getting grids back online just takes time right any eta until you get power back or do you just see them working one day?

nopuedeser68 karma

Before Irma, 100% of the Island had power. Irma was two weeks before Maria. After Irma about 90% had power. On September 20th, 0% had power.

better_katethannever26 karma

I know I'm late but my boyfriend is from and still lives in St. Thomas and I was wondering how you feel about the coverage of the USVI? Do you think they're getting more or less coverage and/or help? They were hit by both Irma and Maria. It's been over 85 days for them without power as well and I think it's just as much of an issue and place people are forgetting about and would love to hear your thoughts. And may God bless you, I know how hard this is

nopuedeser38 karma

They are getting way less. We were helping them a lot after Irma, but the we got slammed by Maria.

better_katethannever12 karma

Yeah Maria was a real bitch. But I know they appreciated y'all's efforts before. Hopefully posts like this can bring the attention back to the mainland. I was just there for 10 days for Thanksgiving and hope and power is slowly being restored in some places so I am praying for the same for y'all too! San Juan is beautiful, I hope to visit again soon.

nopuedeser9 karma

Thanks! Let me know when you're down here.

better_katethannever5 karma

Will do! I'm moving back to STT in a few weeks! We'll be sure so come by soon

nopuedeser7 karma

Awesome. Let me know.

Pandor3626 karma

Does Puerto Rico have underground powerline or it's overhead? Would be better to use this tragedy as an opportunity to switch to underground line since you are often hit by hurricane. Would probably take lot's of time to install tough. I mean it's been 70 day and they still dint fix power outage. :/

nopuedeser30 karma

All overhead.

leoinca23 karma

If my family would like to make a donation to a worthy PR charity or family, is there anyone who you would recommend?

nopuedeser41 karma

My local church is doing great work in their comunity and are accepting donations. http://www.cristoreina.net/donativos.html

This is their Facebook page if you would like to see what you are donating to. https://www.facebook.com/Iglesia-Cristo-Reina-Puerto-Rico-286138654755/

SuperMadCow23 karma

Puerto Rico already had a problem where many of it’s best and brightest leave to go work and live in the states. Since Maria a lot of residents that had the means to leave have left. Is there resentment towards the people who have left? Or do people understand?

nopuedeser33 karma

We understand. There is love for them.

LittleLunia23 karma

Has the crime rate been affected at all due to this outage? I recall reading about some massive surge in crime during major power outages in parts of cities all over the world.

nopuedeser40 karma

Yes. There has been a surge in home invasions. mostly to steal generators.

COCAINE_ALL_DAY_BABY20 karma

Does despacito play non stop there everywhere?

nopuedeser39 karma

It plays during power restoration.

Pliniomelo0919 karma

how is it being a U.S citizen but not being it too?

nopuedeser43 karma

Confusing as hell.

ISuckDickMyDudes18 karma

What are your thoughts on how Trump and the government dealt with getting the proper supplies to Puerto Rico? How hard was it getting through the storm? Did you lose any family, friends, or pets?

nopuedeser87 karma

The supplies (food/water/paper towels) have arrived in great quantities. Sadly, after the initial influx, then supply arrival dwindled down. Now it is mostly citizen run. Getting through the storm was interesting. Not knowing when it would end was the worst part of it. We had lost all communication. Regarding your last question, I lost a friend who was battling with cancer and could not receive adequate medical attention after the storm. His name was Manuel.

ISuckDickMyDudes29 karma

I can't imagine going through all that, wow. I'm sorry about Manuel. I hope everything returns to relative normality for all of you soon

nopuedeser28 karma

Thank you so much. Your words mean a lot.

ehm_145714 karma

[deleted]

nopuedeser8 karma

Lol.

ScrubDaddo13 karma

Can you tell me your daily routine after the hurricane? How does it compare to your daily routine before the hurricane? And if you respond would it be okay to use your response for a presentation? Thanks in advance!

nopuedeser34 karma

Yes. It would be ok for a presentation. The routine in the mornings is the same. Get up, take a shower and go to work. It's after work (about 5 pm) that it gets interesting. -Get home hoping that power has returned during the day -Realizing it hasn't -Turning on some solar lightbulbs I have that charged during the day. -Thinking what to eat if I should cook some canned spaghetti or get take out from some place that has power already. -Opening windows based on the direction of the wind to get maximum air flow in my apartment. -Reading -Listening to a podcast until my phone has about 20% -Set my alarm for the next day -Go to sleep

nopuedeser11 karma

After work has changed a lot. Mostly setting up the windows based on wind the direction of the day to cool the house.

phantasic7912 karma

Not to be a dick but is it a great time to buy real estate in PR? Fantastic deals on fixer uppers? Did many damaged buildings have insurance?

nopuedeser18 karma

I guess...dick.

KJ6BWB10 karma

If there were to be a new referendum, do you now (and have you in the past) support making Puerto Rico a new US state instead of a territory?

nopuedeser42 karma

I am against the status quo, I am for independence or statehood. Not this charade we call a democracy.

ChickenDelight8 karma

Are people getting back to (non disaster-related) work? I'm just curious what it's like trying to run a business with so much dysfunction going on.

Do you think there's going to be a mass exodus, or do you think the people that left are going to return eventually? Have you thought about leaving? How bad would things have to get for you to give up and leave?

PS, thanks for answering questions, and sorry this thread is attracting horrible people for some reason.

nopuedeser17 karma

We’re working around rubble in some places. Sort of post apocalyptic. I would move to a place with power before leaving the island. There is a mass exodus though.

OddAssembler6 karma

Are you getting used to it?

nopuedeser8 karma

Adapting.

MrDurden935 karma

Trump just gave a speech, and in it he said “they’re doing good” in regards to Puerto Rico.

How much shit is he talking?

nopuedeser9 karma

Superman does good. We are doing not well.

pilgrimz5 karma

How are the stars at night looking without all the lights drowning them out?

nopuedeser39 karma

I saw a shooting star 2 nights ago. Wished for power.

dread_beard4 karma

How is the business community coping? I have clients down there that are basically shut down and not anticipating re-opening for some time.

Do you worry about the economic recovery that will need to take place after power gets restored?

nopuedeser6 karma

I do worry about that.

Amator4 karma

Did it take a while for you to regain cellular connectivity? I remember reading reports of a cell tower on a hot air balloon as a temporary measure, but that sounded like it was probably only used over the San Juan metro area.

Assuming life will eventually get back to pre-Hurricane levels of infrastructure, will you personally make additional preparations in case you have to deal with a similar impact again in the future?

What was the food/water situation like for the first few weeks following the hurricane? I imagine there several days of MREs or canned food before grocery stores and restaurants restored their power and began receiving shipments again.

nopuedeser12 karma

Yes. About two weeks. You could find wi fi at some places.

Anatolios3 karma

Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently to prepare for the long term aftereffects of the storm? Is there anything that would help in restoring the community?

nopuedeser8 karma

I would have gotten a solar powered generator and Inverter for my fridge.

Aj8343 karma

Yo estoy en las mismas. Esta energía electrica porahí? Espero que tu y tu familia esten bien y que estas hirviendo tu agua.

nopuedeser3 karma

No los he visto recientemente. Dejaron de postear sus calendarios.

capodecina23 karma

Hey man, good on you for hanging in there. I still have family in PR and a house (well, not sure if its still there) in Caguas, so I still have a lot of ties to the island. I was supposed to go down there on an emergency response team to help and to secure things so aid could be distributed. Instead I ended up working in support of a FEMA operation outside DC. I have seen the FEMA operation here (its primarily a disaster response call center) field over a MILLION calls and handle aid distribution. I don't work for them, nor am I privy to the inner workings of what they are doing, but I do know they are doing what they can in a 24/7 operation.

That being said, having worked in cooperation with aid agencies for both emergency response and ongoing infrastructure support - what happens on one side rarely translates into direct action on the other side, which makes it seem like nothing is happening or if things do happen, it happens slowly. I'm sorry for that, nothing I can personally do about it.

I deployed with what they call a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to New Orleans in 2005 when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit and I saw how ugly things got and how quickly they got that way. I also saw a huge outpouring of tactical, technical, medical, and infrastructure support personnel doing what they could to get the bodies out of the streets, the people to medical attention, food to those who had sheltered in place, and security to protect personnel and physical assets from being harmed/stolen.

There was so much more than just the damage from the hurricane, the real problem was the human factor. People looting/raping/murdering/causing destruction/arson. This made things so much more difficult, and even with the full resources of the US government being poured into a mainland State, it still took about 45 days to get the power grid up and stable. I know some areas are still "recovering".

I suppose my question would be along the lines of how much of an issue is personal security/crimes of opportunity/willful property destruction, and how has it affected the restoration efforts?

I have a few professional associates down there who update me on the situation, but I'd like to know from the perspective of a person who is there. My family of course just assures us that they are OK and yeah things kind of suck, but there is nothing to worry about. Thats what family does, so while its supposed to put me and the rest of my family at ease, I know it is not realistic.

What is your opinion of the security forces and personnel in place, if you have had any exposure to them?

Most importantly, what is the mofongo and pasteles situation down there? These are the important questions that people arent asking.

I've deployed to many areas that were in a state of crisis, both from natural and man made causes, but never anywhere that hit so close to home and family. When the FEMA operation here no longer needs my support, I have already requested to be assigned to Puerto Rico for however long it takes. If Im too late for the AMA, maybe I can get my answers from you in person.

Im not a "thoughts and prayers" kind of guy, but I will say "Hang in there". I will make plantanos maduros and red beans and rice for dinner in your honor.

nopuedeser6 karma

I think your family is right. I have not been a victim of any violent crime here, I have heard of people getting their generators stolen though. Also, Buen provecho tonight. Your words made me feel much better. There is a shortage of Plátanos.

doesntmatter20003 karma

What is the one thing you would do when you finally get power?

nopuedeser9 karma

Go to the grocery store and buy milk, meat, chicken and butter. Then, sleep with my windows closed and air on conditioning.

daverhodeisland3 karma

Will you be voting for Trump in the next presidential election?

nopuedeser6 karma

We can’t vote for President in Puerto Rico.

Mat_Quantum2 karma

New Zealand? What’s that?

nopuedeser52 karma

It’s like Zealand, but more new.

searanger621 karma

Do you have a sister, and is she hot?

nopuedeser29 karma

I do have a sister. But stay away from her.

LargeMonty13 karma

She'll cut you

nopuedeser18 karma

No joke!

ironman821 karma

sin luz todavia que mierda - how many battery you use since then maybe we can make busniess selling battery and generator how you thin kabout that? and also what do you think of the situation in venezuela?

nopuedeser3 karma

Sí. I hope Venezuelans can have more access to basic necessities, no matter what it takes.

ironman822 karma

la cosa es que they didnt even have a fucking big hurricaine like you guys did but anyway lo que sea you know and im glad you can go to youre parents house to use electric ok cuidate mucho

nopuedeser4 karma

Gracias! Abrazo fuerte.

spockspeare-5 karma

Would another victory tour--I mean, visit from Trump help?

nopuedeser5 karma

No, we need visits from thousands of power brigades and visits from hundreds of thousands of materials to re-establish the system. There is a lack of materials for the current power workers to work with.