Puerto Rico continues to rebuild 1 year after Maria

Posted: Updated:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -

A year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, some neighborhoods on the island continue to struggle, but some say those challenges have also helped them grow as a community.

FEMA numbers show that despite water and power restoration, more than 166,000 homes still need repairs or reconstruction.

"We need to finish that emergency work and then develop what is going to be the permanent recovery for Puerto Rico, which is going to last 5-10 years if not more," says FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer Tito Hernandez.

But for the residents of Mariana, waiting was not an option. Through a neighborhood association and through crowdfunding, volunteers began preparing a community center to help those in need. They installed solar panels to be self-reliant, beds, a library and a laundry room.

They hope to complete repairs in part of the center by December and have it fully running in about a year.

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