SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Supermarkets are gradually re-opening in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. But many customers are going home disappointed as the island struggles to get back to normal.
Most food stores and restaurants remain closed. That’s largely because power is out for most of the island and few have generators or enough diesel to power them.
The few that are open have limited hours and long lines outside. They have vast empty shelves inside where they once held milk, meat and other perishables. Drinking water is nowhere to be found.
People wait in line outside a grocery store to buy food that wouldn’t spoil and that they could prepare without electricity, in San Juan, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Most stores and restaurants remained closed Monday. Nearly all of Puerto Rico was without power or water five days after Hurricane Maria.(AP Photo/Ben Fox)
Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday that some ports will reopen and that will help commerce. Many people on the island welcome the opening of the shops but say they’re struggling to find basics and hope the crisis ends soon.
Christian Mendoza counts money in the aisle of a supermarket where he had hoped to buy water but only found cans of juice in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday Sept. 25, 2007. Bottled water was gone from stores throughout Puerto Rico in the few stores open five days after the earthquake. (AP Photo/Ben Fox)