Puerto Ricans committed to rebuilding their homes, lives on the island

With no electricity and long gas lines, residents are finding it easier to focus on fixing what's right in front of them.

SPRINFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Despite widespread devastation in Puerto Rico, many of the island’s residents are staying put. For some, it’s because they simply can’t get a flight off the island. But for most, they are choosing to remain in Puerto Rico to help rebuild their lives.

Bradley International Airport has flights to San Juan, but a JetBlue flight that was scheduled for Tuesday night was already canceled.

With no electricity, long gas lines, and airports only operating 10 domestic fights a day, Puerto Rican Americans are finding it easier to focus on fixing what’s right in front of them. They’re getting a lot of help from the Red Cross and other disaster relief agencies.

“Abandoning their homes is not an option,” David Silva, Executive Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center told 22News. “Later in the year, we might see some folks traveling in. But initially, I would say those numbers are very low.”

Silva estimates that only about 10 percent of native Puerto Ricans will evacuate to the U.S. mainland. Silva added that we’ll start to see people coming back to the states for the holidays to visit family, but that right now their priority is rebuilding their home.