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A Puerto Rican Family Is Reunited In Holyoke, Where It Tries To Find Stability

Solimari Alicea hands baby Yedriel to German Santini to hold. Photo by Jesse Costa for WBUR.

Seven weeks ago, Hurricane Maria roared through the center of Puerto Rico. Winds battered the palm leaves and rain poured over the houses in the town of Barrancas.

The storm brought terror to German Santini, who was inside his home. Santini emerged the next day to see a town that looked like it had been hit by airstrikes.

“You get the urge to cry,” he said. “You don’t feel like doing anything, seeing everything destroyed. Puerto Rico is going to take a long time to recover from this.”

For Santini, the worst part was not being able to communicate with his wife, who was in Holyoke, in western Massachusetts, in the third trimester of her pregnancy.

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