BUFFALO, NY — Scenes of damage in San Juan, Puerto Rico hit hard for some Western New Yorkers who have ties to the island.
More than a million people are without power, and some could be without power for months — a problem worsened by aging infrastructure.
Chito Olivencia grew up in Puerto Rico but moved to Buffalo when he was 7. He lived in Western New York for more than 50 years. When he retired nine years ago, he moved back to Puerto Rico. He now splits his time between there and Buffalo.
He spent much of Thursday morning on the phone with friends and relatives in Puerto Rico and Florida. Some still have cell service, so he wanted to check in with them while he still could.
He works in politics and government in Puerto Rico and has been in touch with his contacts and has asked them to check on other people's friends and relatives who haven't been able to reach their loved ones.
Olivencia's family and friends are safe, but many are without power and water.
His latest concern is Hurricane Jose. He's worried it may take the same path as Irma.