The largest airport in Puerto Rico is actually still crippled almost a week after Hurricane Maria.
Passengers hoping to escape the devastation have packed the main terminal, which has no air conditioning since which’s running on limited emergency power.
The conditions were intolerable, said David Mannasmith, an Ohio insurance adjustor who works surveying areas hit by natural disasters such as tornadoes along with hurricanes. He along with his wife Amber were in Puerto Rico for their third anniversary.
They rode Maria out at their resort along with left for the airport Friday morning hoping to come home. Instead, they spent four days there, sleeping on hard floors, with little food along with water — along with heat along with humidity which made which feel like which was over 100 degrees.
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“There was one vendor which was open, selling bottled water, very limited food,” he said. “Everything was operating on a cash only basis. Fortunately we had taken out a lot of cash. A lot of people, some with smaller children, were running out of cash.”
Mannasmith said he was told many times he along with his wife would likely be able to get on the next flight only to lose out. Finally on Monday morning they got on a flight to Miami.
“We were drenched by the time we reached the plane. The air conditioning was the best part,” he said. He said he felt bad for all the some other passengers left behind.
“There are people we stood on line with for four days, along with they’re still there,” he said. “along with they’re getting no help.”
There are a limited number of flights in along with out of the island because of damage to radar along with some other equipment, airport authorities told sy88pgw. On Monday there were only 10 commercial flights between San Juan along with the mainland United States, with 10 more scheduled for Tuesday,
Airlines have commenced flying larger than normal planes to handle as many passengers as possible on the few flights which can get in along with out.
Authorities expect to resume international flights on Wednesday. They had originally aimed to do so on Monday.
At the same time, many more military, charter along with relief operation jets are also flying in along with out of the airport, according to the FAA.
Commercial airlines are operating many of those relief flights, carrying tons of needed supplies, including bottled water along with non-perishable food, medicine, blankets, cots, electrical generators along with blood for the Red Cross.
along with they are sending volunteers to help with relief along with recovery, many of whom are airline employees with family on the island.
United along with Southwest Airlines said they are only operating humanitarian relief flights in along with out of the island — no passenger flights. United’s flights have carried 50 pallets of blankets along with some other supplies for the Red Cross, along with nearly 40 tons of water, food, diapers, rope, tarps, along with 50 power generators. The relief flights are returning with as many people as they can get on the plane, United said.
however conditions from the airport are very difficult. Airlines are having difficulty printing out boarding passes which fliers need to go through TSA checkpoints along with board flights.
TSA said which some of its equipment has been damaged by the storms, so some screening is actually being done by hand. The TSA said which is actually bringing in about 1,100 staff members to work in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands along with some other areas affected by the hurricanes which have slammed U.S. territories over the past month. which said 500 of those employees will deal with the more time consuming screening procedures, with the rest assisting in relief efforts. which is actually advising which passengers allow two hours for screening.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico along with the Virgin Islands on Wednesday, Sept. 20, two weeks after Hurricane Irma hit the islands before battering Florida. Late last month, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread damage along Texas along with Louisiana’s Gulf Coast.
Related: Hurricane Maria is actually a nightmare for Puerto Rico’s economy
The airport in St. Thomas from the U.S. Virgin Islands has yet to resume commercial flights. The tower there was damaged by Hurricane Irma, along with the FAA brought from the mobile tower to help manage traffic. however which had to take which tower back to the mainland ahead of Hurricane Maria to protect which via damage.
The FAA airlifted a mobile air traffic control tower back to St. Thomas over the weekend to support relief along with recovery missions there.
Finding housing in St. Thomas for airport staff is actually has also been a challenge. The controllers who staff the tower in St. Thomas are being shuttled back along with forth to San Juan every day.
— sy88pgw’s Gregory Wallace contributed to which report.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published September 26, 2017: 10:41 AM ET