PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia man battled the storm and now he’s fighting to get home nearly one week after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico.
Angel Medina chopped through wood for five days to get his jeep from the easternmost point of the island to San Juan. Only there was he able to get in contact with his family and start working on getting back to Philadelphia.
The situation in Puerto Rico is being called a humanitarian crisis as there is no power and food and water are running low.
On Monday night, two people died after a hospital generator ran out of diesel fuel and could no longer run life support.
“I don’t think people in Philadelphia really have the farthest idea of what’s going on here,” said Medina. “They have no understanding of the suffering that’s going on in this island right now.”
Medina has been stranded in Puerto Rico for days.
“It’s a disaster area. There’s no gasoline, there is no electricity. You have to wait almost eight hours in line to go to a supermarket,” explained Medina. “Even to get a bottle of water you have to wait in line for almost six hours. I haven’t taken a shower in five days because I can’t afford to use the water to take a shower.”
Medina retired from the Philadelphia Health Department and bought a farm in his homeland.
He lives in Farjado a few months out of the year and couldn’t get back to Philadelphia before the hurricane hit.
“Farjado is one of the hardest hit areas. I spent six hours holding the door up with some gallons of water so it wouldn’t give in. I thank God that door didn’t give in because if it would’ve cracked completely, I would’ve been a goner.”
It took him five days to finally reach his wife in Philadelphia.
“My family didn’t know if I was alive or dead,” said Medina.
Now, it may take him longer to actually get back home.
“There’s no airlines. For instances, I am able, maybe, to get out. I’m going to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Washington, from Washington to Boston and then to Philadelphia. That is what I am trying to arrange now,” said Medina.
Medina is still working to try and arrange that trip. It will take 28 hours on all those flights, if he can get on them.
Medina added that he is proud of his people and how they are handling this crisis. He said everyone is helping each other with what little they have.