SoCal FEMA rescue team describes devastation after returning from Puerto Rico
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (FOX 11) - Just as SoCal FEMA'S rescue team thought Hurricane Irma was over, they were asked to stay longer as Hurricane Maria barreled through the island.
Tuesday night, seven of them got back to Riverside after a long 19 days in Puerto Rico. Even though their leg of the journey is over, they say their work is still far from done.
"It seemed like as we stayed there, things were deteriorating pretty rapidly," said K-9 research specialist Katrina Kurth.
Eric Janert's team is now passing the baton to another group. "There's tons of work, especially infrastructure...all the islands that are over there, power lines....almost every power line was done. Power poles snapped in two," said Janert.
At one point, the team fearing they could need help themselves when their hotel flooded. "Getting to experience the hurricane and then almost becoming a refugee of the hurricane," said Janert.
Many of the island's 3.4 million people without adequate food, water and fuel. Democratic leaders calling on Trump over the weekend to focus his energy on Puerto Rico.
Hillary Clinton tweeting: "President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should sent the Navy, including the USNS Comfort to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens."
Tuesday, the military announcing they would deploy the USNS Comfort hospital ship with Trump stressing the US already has a large presence in Puerto Rico.
Still, some fearing the island's location will keep people from getting the help they need.
"It's a tremendous barrier that it's so isolated," said Kurth.
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