“I had spent years repairing the roof, spent $4,000 on it, but Maria came in and tore open the zinc like the lid off a tin can,” she told me. FEMA declared her house a total loss.
Ilda Sánchez and Alberto Luquis found a crocodile in their flooded house in Caño Martín Peña, a Santurce neighborhood of the working poor who settled along a canal that once nourished mangroves.
Credit Joseph Rodriguez for The New York Times
The neighborhood was precarious before the storm; people feared displacement by tourism developments, as had happened in the 1980s in a nearby neighborhood. The hurricane’s destruction will encourage people to move along even faster, leaving behind a community that came to exist because of rural displacement after hurricanes in the early 20th century.