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foxeylady

Waiting for Irma

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We'll be thinking of you, foxey. Just today was listening to news in car and thinking of all my cyberfriends in danger. The world is so small when it comes to information and news yet there's practically nothing we can do for natural disasters. Puts some things in perspective.

Stay safe.

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@foxeylady When I heard the mention of Florida of course you came to mind immediately.  I didn't want to appear to be a 'drama queen' so I haven't mentioned anything regarding this natural disaster as yet.  Sending you love & strength, thinking of you at this scary time :wub:

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HEY!!!  I'm baaa-ack.  It's been a rough couple of days.  No power for a while--it finally came back on this afternoon.  I still have no cable TV, no internet **sob**, and no land line.  Cell service is spotty, at best.

I'm over at my Mom's now, using her computer.  She never lost power or cable service.  I have to come over here to download my email to my phone--my only connection to the outside world  :rolleyes:

I'm so very thankful though.  I'm fine, my Mom is fine, and neither of us had any damage.  So many people here had a lot worse  :(

Hopefully, I'll be back on-line soon and chatting with y'all again  ^_^

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Puerto Rico is in the forefront of my worrying.  My son has friends there.  They live in the mountain area and it took them 13 days to make their way into San Juan.  They dealt with roof and rain catching equipment repair, waiting for the roads to be cleared (the locals finally got that job done themselves),  running out of food that they usually get from mom and pop stores in their area (they are not being restocked).  He is self employed and loss of communications, electricity, and internet has nearly destroyed his computer service business.  Getting to San Juan he found it as you hear on the news.  They can only buy things with cash and supplies of all kinds are hard to find.  

I joined with my son and other of his friends to wire them money to live on.  It's my only contribution to all hurricane relief this season.  He also has a brother in Netherlands who sent help, too.  Currently they are getting by, with a generator they run 6 hours a day to keep their frig cool, run a pump to pump the rain water they collect in their basement for laundry and flushing toilets.  Also able to heat some water for showers.  Most days he goes into San Juan to try to regain his business clients but they are going out of business and a not putting new money into computer projects.  He basically has no chance of regaining his income until they get electricity and internet.  Of course that is the way is for everyone.  They do have a concrete house built just to with stand hurricanes and it did for the most  part.  Each day is a struggle to survive.  They are in better shape than most because they have food and water to drink, a car and as of now are able to still get fuel for the car and their home generator.   

I don't know if they will regain their life as it was before Marie, but he has some internet communications when he gets into San Juan.  He has to drive around looking for 'hot spots' to get on line.  He says its easy to find one because that's where cars are pulled over to the side of the road and they are busy on their devices.  

So far Puerto Rico is making no progress in regaining electricity and running water for the majority of the country.

I appreciate the opportunity to 'talk' about this here.   

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@twyla

I know exactly what you mean.

There is a huge Puerto Rican population in Florida, with the greatest number of them right here in the Orlando/Kissimee area.  Everyone here knows someone with family in Puerto Rico, and the stories are terrible :(

I can't stand our governor, but I must credit his response to the disaster.  There are a bunch of Florida resources in PR right now, and refugee assistance centers have been opened in south and central Florida.  A lot of state rules--for housing, schools, etc-- have been waived to accommodate an influx of evacuees.  500 students have already been taken into the schools in Orlando.

People are able to get out now, and we're ready for them.  It's just sad that so many have to leave their beautiful island :(

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On 10/21/2017 at 10:01 PM, foxeylady said:

@twyla

I know exactly what you mean.

There is a huge Puerto Rican population in Florida, with the greatest number of them right here in the Orlando/Kissimee area.  Everyone here knows someone with family in Puerto Rico, and the stories are terrible :(

I can't stand our governor, but I must credit his response to the disaster.  There are a bunch of Florida resources in PR right now, and refugee assistance centers have been opened in south and central Florida.  A lot of state rules--for housing, schools, etc-- have been waived to accommodate an influx of evacuees.  500 students have already been taken into the schools in Orlando.

People are able to get out now, and we're ready for them.  It's just sad that so many have to leave their beautiful island :(

The soul-less liar in the whitehouse is beyond contempt.  Not to mention the congress vote to not send them more aid.  

I'm going to try to copy and paste what Gerrit posted this morning.  fyi, he's a Dutch immigrant and his wife, Patria, is Puerto Rican.

Re: Post from gerrit today

Postby Gerrit » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:52 am 

Red Dave wrote:Gerrit, we are seeing news reports that make it seem like goods and supplies are getting to the ports, but there are bottlenecks with unloading and then problems with distribution due to unions and local politicians wanting to each have control over how & where the supplies getting distributed. Is that true, do you see any evidence of it where you are?

It may sound strange but it looks like you guys over there get more news than we do over here. Due to the limited internet access we don't have the possibility to read a lot of online news. We get a newspaper every now and then, TV is not working - waiting for a new antenna that I ordered at Amazon. (no antennas available in our area).
Many of the local politicians think of themselves and their family and friends first and many also have a habit of stealing. There seems to be an FBI investigation going on because it was reported that politicians / government officials have been stealing pallets of emergency meals and drinking water. (why am I not surprised..) The military took over the distribution of drinking water and emergency meals, so we heard. 
We haven't seen a drop of drinking water being handed out and only one time, accidently, we found a Red Cross van where emergency meals were handed out. We don't hear anything from what the government or FEMA is doing or not doing for us, we are mainly on our own. Now, we are able to take care of ourselves and help in the neighborhood but many others are dependent on help and despite all the big words from local, state and federal politicians many people haven't seen any help. I can only hope that people who are in need will receive the help and assistance they need...
 
Red Dave wrote:there anything that KL people can do to help you out? Anything we can send to you?
Thanks but for now we're OK. One of Patria's cousins in Chicago mobilized the family over there and they insist that we give them a list of stuff we need every week and they buy and ship it to us. There also have been some fund raisers to get us money since we have to spend a lot more than we normally do and I hardly had work since the hurricane. Many confirmed projects were cancelled or put on hold until further notice.

It looks like it's gonna take a long time before the island is back to normal.

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I just got a pm from Gerrit that I would also like to share here.  I know he he won't mind.  It's a relief to know if he has to leave PR, he will be able to earn a living right away.  

"Things are slowly improving but our main worry is the future. We have no clue yet if the economy is going to recover fast enough. Everybody here needs that to happen and the electricity supply is the main thing that's preventing businesses from going back to normal.
Thanks to your donation and the money that Denise and some family members sent us we have some time to move on even without or a little income.
Meanwhile I spoke with the contractor company in Ohio for whom I have been a local subcontractor (computer installations and maintenance in national store chains like Marshalls, TJMaxx) and they promised to talk to people high up in those chains to find out their plans. They also told me that there are many places in the USA where they would have plenty of work for me. I've been (freelance) with them for over ten years and they are more than happy with me.
Now, moving is a step that we would only take if there's no possibility to get our lives back on track here. 
Let's see how things develop."

If any of you reading this are used to reading random twitter feeds for information, here is one by an individual that is currently in Utuado PR daily distributing food to areas that officials have not yet touched.  

https://twitter.com/AntonioParis?lang=en is his feed.

 

DMrjjiFVAAAsMH-.jpg

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Here's an update on Gerrit.

 In addition he also can let 2 neighbors plug into his generator when he runs it.  The good news mentioned here is he has internet connectivity at his home with no need for electricity.  Still no outside help has come to their area.  The neighbors that receive his help go into San Juan to run errands with him  and stand in the lines (2 to 4 hour waits) for him while he gets as much done as possible.

"Yup, this is one of the best things that happened lately!
Electricity is gonna take a while, water will hopefully come back soon. I spent the best part of yesterday getting and distributing water among neighbors. Something like 600 gallons. We got some of it ourselves, too. :D"

 

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@twyla, I'm glad he is getting along OK.  It's absolutely outrageous what is happening--or not happening--there.

70,000 Puerto Ricans have already relocated to Florida.  Some of them will return when they can.  Others are expected to remain here and build a new life.

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Update - Gerrit just shared this on another website.  btw, he is Dutch, from Amsterdam.  He speaks 5 languages.  

Joe wrote:Gerrrit, Ive been worried about you and family in P.R., and genuinely hope that some things are improving out there for y'all. Of course, the media is biased  :roll: , and their motivations are likely suspect. However, we all have become somewhat skilled in winnowing chaff from grain, and we have determined that although things are "improving slightly", it's still a damned mess, and IMHO, some legislators need their collective butts kicked from here to Sunday.


It's improving but way too slow. Around 45% (!) of the island (and that includes us) is still without electricity and many do not have the means to run a generator. We're lucky to have one and we run it for 8-10 hours per day. 
Saturday it's gonna be four months after Maria paid us a visit. Before that we had three days with eletricity after Irma's passage on Sept. 6th....

Many businesses had to close the doors, many Puertoricans packed and went to the lower 48. Reliable numbers are hard to get but estimates are that around 500,000 people already left, 300,000 or so are in Florida, the rest to other parts of the USA. That's a lot on 3.9 million before the storm!

My local clients hardly give me work, no way with the damage to stores and offices. I'm lucky that I have some online clients in the lower 48 and Europe, Holland mainly. The latter part is picking up some and I'm about to launch a site in Holland to offer my services over there. As long as I have reliable internet (and that works pretty good since we changed to a new provider who is mainly servicing businesses) I can work anywhere in the world. 

I'm fully in agreement with legislators needing to have their butts kicked, that also goes for the executive branch, both here and in DC. Whatever their agenda, helping US citizens in need after the hurricane(s) is not on top of (or at all on) their lists.

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Yes, that's all pretty accurate, according to what we are hearing and seeing in Florida.  Florida Power and Light sent more crews there just this week.

There is a lot of talk here now about how those 300,000 evacuees are who came here to Florida are going to change the political landscape here.  Most of them have landed in central Florida, the swingiest part of this notoriously swingy state.  They are angry (rightfully so!) about the treatment of their island by the Trump administration, and at Republicans in general.  But here's the thing: they can REGISTER TO VOTE as soon as they get settled here.  HeeHeeHee--just in time for the midterms.

In fact, the Governor of PR, Ricardo Rossello, came HERE, to central Florida, and held meetings with evacuees and other PR immigrants to encourage activism in the upcoming midterms.  :P

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That's very interesting the Governor of PR came to Florida.  I hope it results in more Democratic votes.  I'm skeptical tho, about 2 things.  One is Florida should have not ended up for Trump in 2016.  What ever the reason that happened it's very possible it will also work the same way in the with midterms.  The other thing is many people that hate what the gov't is doing to them will just as likely think that supporting them will bring change rather than voting against them.  Do they even realize that Trump went to PR long enough to throw paper towels at them and tell them to clean up their own mess?  

As for our election system (or anything else), I believe that if what you're doing isn't working you need to try something else.  Yet we keep a voting system that not only allows the person who wins the most votes to lose, but will also not allow it to be made right.  It's just wrong that we keep rewarding the people who benefit from this injustice. 

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@twyla, yes, the PR people hate Trump and the way he has treated their island.  And they are furious at how the GOP slammed them in their tax scam bill.  I don't know if the rest of the country hears as much about as we do here in Florida.  The GOP tax scam bill imposed a new 12.5% export tax on PR--as if their economy wasn't already crippled enough.

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Update.  There was an explosion at the power plant in PR last night.  This is what Gerrit responded to my inquiry. (What a beautiful picture :))

"We heard about this, yes. Both daughters in the metro area lost power but it is back, so we hear.
From our mountain we noticed that it was darker in the valley..

Positive news though from our neck of the woods: 

Image

This is the pole next to our house, where 'our' transformer is. New pole is first, next install cables and the transformer. Then the old pole will be removed and, hopefully within a week, we will be powered up!"

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