This week a category five hurricane devastated Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria has left millions without power and staggering wreckage in its wake. Communications with the island are extremely limited. Our Jobos Bay Reserve is located in Salinas, on the southern coast.
We have had limited contact by cell phone with two reserve staff. Aitza Pabon, the reserve manager, rode out the storm at the reserve visitor center with 20 others who took refuge there. When we last heard from her yesterday, the storm was doing significant damage to the center’s roof, but they were okay. Today, we heard from the Angel Dieppa, the research coordinator, and he is fine, with only minor damage to his house. He has not been able to get to the reserve.
That’s all we know for now, but we will keep you posted as we learn more. In the mean time, please send your love and strong NERRS spirit to our friends in Puerto Rico.
If you are struggling with that feeling of wanting to do something, but not being sure what, please consider a contribution to NERRA’s Hurricane Recovery Fund. We will work closely with each reserve impacted by this season’s storms and our NOAA partners to ensure that 100% of your gift goes to filling a need that will not be met by insurance or federal assistance.