By Nick Pinto, ESPN.com Senior WriterSan Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and other residents are navigating the streets of Puerto Rico and trying to avoid traffic jams that have become a regular occurrence.
The island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after the deadly Hurricane Maria hit the U.S. territory in October.
That caused widespread flooding and shut down more than 60 bridges, a problem that could be exacerbated by the island’s lack of a full sewage system.
The governor is now in charge of the crisis relief efforts.
The U.N. has issued a humanitarian emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, and the U,S.
military is also on the ground.
“It’s a real challenge,” Rossello told CNN on Tuesday, noting that a lack of access to safe water and sanitation has been a big challenge.
“The fact is, Puerto Rico has been living with a humanitarian crisis for the past 20 years, and unfortunately the situation is getting worse.
I hope this will finally get the attention it needs.”
As the government tries to work out what it will do with the money, Rossellos administration has begun putting out alerts and posting information on social media to help residents navigate the island.
In the past week, the governor has sent out about 200 calls, and he has also asked that Puerto Ricans call 911 if they have a family member or friend who needs to be evacuated.
The mayor said she has received more than 300 calls from people asking for help.
“We have a lot of support from the public, and it’s important to show that we are a resilient community,” she said.
“We can be as strong as anyone.
We can be strong as our citizens can be, but we have to work together.”
As Maria’s path toward the mainland has been less than ideal for Puerto Ricas residents, they have taken to social media in an attempt to get help.
“I need you to reach out to your friends and family, because they are going through the same situation,” Carmen Yilina Cruz said on Facebook.
“Puerto Rico needs to get back on the road to recovery,” another woman wrote.
“Help us with this urgent need.
We need you,” a third added.