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Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico’s Neo-Colonial Legacy
The view southward from the Asomante hills outside the Puerto Rican town of Aibonito is spectacular, reaching all the way to the Caribbean coast. A pretty little town situated in the island’s southeastern Cayey mountain range, Aibonito has the highest altitude in Puerto Rico—twenty-four hundred feet. It’s known for its cool climate, its bucolic scenery, its flowers, and its chicken farms.
In the small valleys around the town, many of the long, low, tin-roofed chicken breederies—polleros—were smashed to smithereens, and their occupants killed, during Hurricane Maria. In the middle of last week, when I visited, the dead chickens had been buried, but there was still wreckage strewn around the blasted polleros. The eye of the storm came right through these hills on September 20th and was especially fierce along the exposed…
Trailers could house those displaced by fires in California wine country
Since erupting on Oct. 8 and 9, the blazes have blackened more than 245,000 acres, (86,200 hectares) and destroyed an estimated 4,600 homes along with wineries and commercial buildings.
Thousands of survivors, forced to flee the flames with little warning, remain displaced. Many are returning to find nothing left, forcing them to seek housing in emergency shelters or with family and friends.
The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has called trailers a solution of last resort for housing the displaced.
But local officials said they had few other options because of a lack of hotels and rental housing, especially around Santa Rosa – the urban hub of the region’s wine country – which had nearly 5 percent of its homes destroyed…