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Puerto Ricans Hope President Trump Gets an Eyeful of Devastation - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Puerto Ricans Hope President Trump Gets an Eyeful of Devastation During Visit

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Ricans remained in survival mode on the eve of President Donald Trump's visit — and many residents were downright exasperated.

"He's pretty late," Bethsaida Colón said Monday as she waited in a wheelchair in line at the airport, bound for New York. "His general came here eight days late."

Trump's visit on Tuesday has been preceded by escalating criticism that his administration has responded too slowly to the hurricane that left virtually all of Puerto Rico without electricity basic necessities September.

In the afternoon, the president and first lady Melania Trump will "receive a briefing on Hurricane Maria relief efforts," according to a statement from the White House. "The President and the First Lady will then visit with individuals impacted by Hurricane Maria. Later in the afternoon, the President and the First Lady will visit Cavalry Chapel. The President and the First Lady will then meet with Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Later, the President and the First Lady will participate in a briefing with senior military personnel, Governor Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico, and Governor Kenneth Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The President and the First Lady will then participate in a greeting with the Navy and Marine Corps."

They will then fly back to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night.

"He should have come sooner. What we're living here is a crisis," Michael Garcia, 26, of Mayagüez on the west coast of the island, said in Spanish.

Garcia, who has two young children, was returning to the island for the first time since the storm hit on Sept. 20 — after being stuck on the mainland while on vacation in Orlando, Florida.

"I still haven't seen my house and my kids," he said. "I've been worried."

Garcia said he believed if Trump had come sooner, relief efforts on the island would be further along by now.

"I hope that he will be able to do something. To help us, send more food, send more people to fix the electricity," he said.

Only about a quarter of Puerto Rican households are expected to regain power by next month and about half currently have no running water, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, said at a news conference Monday.

And cell-phone communication remained an issue, with mobile service returned to only about a third of the island.

Even in metropolitan San Juan, cell coverage remained spotty in areas and debris from trees and other rubble lined the roads. People would pull over their cars on the shoulder of the highway near the airport in the hopes of getting cell service.

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