Puerto Ricans in hard-hit Arecibo say they are still living a nightmare

Image: Arecibo in Puerto Rico

Electrical workers repair the lines on Oct. 4 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico Brock Stoneham / NBC News

Many residents were still scrambling for basics on Wednesday.

Nancy Torres was standing in a line for ice in the late afternoon in Arecibo.

She had traveled from Miraflores, a rural town about five miles south of Arecibo that has no fruit, vegetables, gasoline or water. Torres said her freezer is empty.

But she has discovered that getting in line before dawn is not enough to get staples. Priority is given to police and government workers. At Areceibo, the ice distribution for civilians ended at 4 p.m., after which only those who could prove they were government workers could get some.

Torres lingered a little longer hoping to get lucky. She watched government workers who’d been behind her in line carry out two bags of ice. Eventually, she gave up and walked away empty handed.

“We are not well,” Torres said in Spanish. “Puerto Rico has a lot of needs.”

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