BUFFALO, N.Y. — Hundreds of Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria last fall have made their home in Buffalo, expecting it to be temporary.
While they wait to find out whether they can return to the island, volunteers like Diane Kozlowski have been working hard to help restore power and clean up the devastation left by the massive storm.
Kozlowski, a member of the Buffalo Division of the Army Corps of Engineers, has made two trips to Puerto Rico. She was there 10 days after the storm hit and again last month.
She was there helping coordinate the Army Corps' efforts to remove debris, set up temporary power and offer short-term roofing repairs.
Kozlowski says the devastation is indescribable, but she's encouraged by the progress in the last few months.
"People were just very thankful that we were there to assist them,” Kozlowski said. “They still were when we returned in January. Certainly patience is wearing a bit thin."
Back here at home, advocates say many of the families have run into hurdles with trying to get FEMA funding.