NATURAL DISASTER

Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria, parts of Puerto Rico are showing clear signs of recovery. But in Vieques, a remote island with nearly 9,000 residents eight miles off the main island's coast, recovery is a long way off. There, some live in dingy conditions as they wait for help to rebuild, while others gather what they can to do it themselves.

Gregorio Velazquez Rivera, an 81-year-old who is blind, has left his destroyed home — which is totally unlivable — virtually untouched in the months since the hurricane.

Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
Daderot / Creative Commons

Students who relocated to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands because of Hurricane Maria will be immediately eligible to pay lower in-state public higher education tuition rates under a proposal unanimously approved on Tuesday by the state Board of Higher Education.

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Firefighters were struggling to contain four wildfires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, after a blaze broke out Wednesday morning within the LA city limits. The wildfires have burned a total of more than 100,000 acres, threatened more than 12,000 homes and other buildings and shut down 265 schools.

Pedro Juan Garcia Figueroa came up to Bridgeport from Puerto Rico on November 17. He wanted to thank the city for the nearly 200,000 pounds worth of supplies it collected during an event on October 1 -- a telethon organized by CTBPT United for PR.

Holyoke Public Schools

In the months since Hurricane Maria, 1,400 students from Puerto Rico have registered for school in Massachusetts.

At MedStar Washington Hospital Center, doctors and nurses are moving as many patients as they can from intravenous medications to the same drugs in pill form.

Seven weeks ago, Hurricane Maria roared through the center of Puerto Rico. Winds battered the palm leaves and rain poured over the houses in the town of Barrancas.

The storm brought terror to German Santini, who was inside his home. Santini emerged the next day to see a town that looked like it had been hit by airstrikes.

“You get the urge to cry,” he said. “You don’t feel like doing anything, seeing everything destroyed. Puerto Rico is going to take a long time to recover from this.”

Miguel Zenón was 12 when he first experienced the devastation of a major hurricane in his homeland, Puerto Rico. That was Hugo, which hit as a Category 3 in 1989, and drove nearly 30,000 residents from their homes.

We drove to Caguas, a city south of San Juan, four weeks after Hurricane Maria hit. Our guide was Luis Cotto -- a former Hartford city councilman now living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We traveled to Puerto Rico to tell stories; he traveled to deliver thousands of dollars in inflatable solar lights and water filters to people who need them, including members of his family.

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