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Articles by AJ Vicens

AJ Vicens is a reporter at Mother Jones.

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This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Jose Morales Menendez had some great times fishing along the beautiful southeast coast of Puerto Rico. He recalls fishing from 1 a.m. to 10 a.m., watching the lights of giant freight ships pass by his little boat. Now, mostly blind since 2005, the 75-year-old depends on others for many day-to-day things. But still, life was okay before Hurricane Maria made landfall six months ago. Now?

“Life after Maria has been really sad,” he says, sitting in the front room of his small house yards from the beach in the Playa el Negro section of Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. The house, which he shares with his wife Irma, was flooded during the storm after it made landfall very near their neighborhood with sustained winds of 155 mph. “The little bit that we had was taken back.”

Yabucoa, a town of about 35,000 on the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico, was devastated by Hurricane Maria. The winds destroyed concrete homes that had withstood prior hurricanes, according to USA Today, leaving it the hardest hit city on an island wracked with devastation. Officials estim... Read more

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