CAROLINA, Puerto Rico (WGNO)— Jason Routzahn, a former New Orleanian who now lives in Puerto Rico, is giving us a sense of what it’s like on the island after riding out the storm.
Routzahn says although Hurricane Fiona made landfall as a Category 1 storm, it felt more like a Category 3 or 4, speaking on experience after riding out Hurricane Ida in New Orleans a year prior.
Most of the island of Puerto Rico remains without power after Fiona made landfall Sunday, and as of Monday morning, those on the island were facing another hurdle.
“From my understanding, all the water stopped this morning, early this morning, so we have no running water as of right now,” Routzahn said.
Routzahn, who lives in Carolina, Puerto Rico, says the winds proved stronger than the rain initially, but then the rain pummeled the island.
Video from another part of Puerto Rico shows water washing away a newly constructed bridge.
“When you see the video like that, you know, it’s scary, thinking that you’re on a steel, constructed beam bridge, and you’d be able to cross it, and all of a sudden, the water just takes not only the bridge but all the metal that’s connected to the bridge from the road surrounding it with it,” Routzahn said.
The Puerto Rico resident believes the island will take a financial hit because U.S. territory relies heavily on tourism and that some may suffer more than others.
“Your tourists are going to stay or go to the larger properties, like the Hiltons and, as I was saying, the Marriots and Hyatts and stuff like that that have generators and have full-service restaurants that are running, so it’s going to hurt the smaller businesses, I think,” Routzahn said.
Routzahn, however, believes the island will persevere.
“We’ll make it through, but it is funny to go from one area in the states prone to hurricanes to another,” Routzahn said. “It’s definitely a unique experience.”
In response to Fiona, President Joe Biden has authorized FEMA to supply federal emergency aid to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Locally, the New Orleans-based nonprofit SBP is raising funds in its efforts to help Puerto Ricans with recovery. Click here to donate.