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Local Puerto Rican reaction to Island death toll

Posted: 4:42 PM, Aug 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-29 20:42:58Z

Next month marks one year since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico.

Tuesday their government raised the official number of dead to nearly 3,000. It followed a new study just released by George Washington University.

Victor Hernandez reads the number and can't help but think it may get higher.

"Wouldn't be surprised if it changed in the coming weeks," said Hernandez.

Victor is a native of Puerto Rico and spends time on the island and in West Palm Beach.

"Still see signs of the hurricane," he said.

He's not surprised by the number.

"Mudslides, lack of electricity after the fact," said Hernandez.

"3,000 U.S. citizens that died because of the disaster," said Scott Lewis with Eagles Wings Foundation.

He spent more than a week on the island immediately following the storm and saw firsthand the struggle in smaller communities.

"Because of the nursing homes and the vulnerable population was hugely at risk of no power for months and months and months," said Lewis.

"Saw how fragile things can get. How quickly things can go wrong," said Hernandez.