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A Puerto Rican in Central Pa. reacts to Hurricane Fiona on the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Maria

The anniversary of Hurricane Maria, as well as the destruction from Hurricane Fiona, brings a lot of painful memories for one Lancaster resident.

YORK, Pa. — Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico over the weekend and left significant damage behind, with many on the island still without power and water.

Five years ago, a more destructive storm, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. 

The anniversary of Maria, as well as the destruction from Fiona, brings a lot of painful memories for Jazmin Sanchez who lives in Lancaster. “My father died during Hurricane Maria," said Sanchez, a Puerto Rican who has lived in Lancaster for seven years. 

Sanchez's dad was in the hospital during Hurricane Maria. She says he died from a lack of electricity and the resources necessary to care for him. 

“If there was electricity, the treatment and service in the hospital would’ve been of quality and my dad would [be] alive," said Sanchez. 

She says due to lack of access to the island, she wasn’t able to bury her dad. Five years later, Sanchez is watching another hurricane sweep through the island.

"It’s frustrating because, with [Hurricane] Maria, my kids were here with me in Lancaster, now with [Hurricane] Fiona, they’re in Puerto Rico, having to go through that without me," said Sanchez. 

Sanchez's family lives in Ponce, a city in the southern part of Puerto Rico, and one of the areas most impacted by Hurricane Fiona. She says they’ve been without power or water for days. 

Sanchez also says her son had a small trailer barbershop that was destroyed by the hurricane. He was hoping to open for business next month.

"It’s hard when every dollar that you earn you invest in this business, you have a lot of hope, and then you watch how the hurricane destroys it. It hurts," said Sanchez. 

She says it’s heartbreaking watching her family and community go through this and not being able to be with them. 

“It’s hard seeing that because everything that they have there is a product of hard work.” 

Sanchez says she’s hopeful that Puerto Rico will get through this.

“My kids, my family, my community. It hurts, it hurts a lot, but I know we’re gonna get back up," said Sanchez. 

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