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Allen Fletcher on Puerto Rico in the wake of a devastating hurricane (Encore Episode)

Photo of Allen Fletcher
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 10:00pm

In an encore of “The Business Beat,” Steve Jones-D’Agostino interviews Worcester business leader Allen Fletcher. They talk about Puerto Rico in the wake of a devastating hurricane. This episode aired originally on October 29, 2017.

On a normal visit, Allen Fletcher recently told the Telegram & Gazette, he is overwhelmed by how green Puerto Rico is. Then, Hurricane Maria struck.

“It was like some huge shredding machine had been let loose on the island,” Allen Fletcher, a Worcester business leader who owns a second home in Naguabo Playa, Puerto Rico,  told the T&G. “Everything you saw was brown. It was just like death, like a World War One battle scene after people had been shooting each other for four years ... Wherever there was human habitation there was debris.”

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with 155-miles-per-hour winds, causing widespread devastation and wiping out basic utilities such as power and communications. Almost a month later, on October 13, Puerto Rico remained, in many ways, crippled.

As of October 12, the date of this interview, the vast majority of the island remained without power, the death toll from the storm had risen to 45, and at least 113 people remained unaccounted for, according to authorities in Puerto Rico. As of October 11, 89% of the island was without electricity and almost 47% had no phone service, and 43% of the island's 313 bank branches remained closed, according to a website set up by the Puerto Rican government.

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