LELAND, N.C. – Evacuees from Puerto Rico still feel the grim effects several weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.

Jared Cleerdin, his wife and small child lost their home there and say they felt forgotten and hopeless.

He says they ran out of clean water within five days and had to start drinking it from the back of their toilet.

The Cleerdins say it’s an experience they won’t soon forget.

“You feel like you’re failing as a parent because you can’t provide your child with what she needs,” said Rose Cleerdin. “But at the same time we were stuck on the island so there was no way for us to leave.”

The family is now staying with Jared Cleerdin’s parents in Leland.

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