NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS News correspondent David Begnaud stopped by CBS2 to discuss his new documentary “Puerto Rico The Exodus after Hurricane Maria.”
It’s been one year and a day since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. The Category 4 storm made landfall on Sept. 20, 2017, leaving the island without power for months afterward. The hurricane hit Puerto Rico with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, knocking out nearly 80 percent of the power lines.
A recent study from George Washington University estimates the death toll to be nearly 3,000 people. The Puerto Rican government originally estimated 64 deaths as a result of the hurricane. President Trump has disputed the increased death toll, accusing Democrats of inflating the number after the storm.
Residents continue to clean up and try to restore the island. It’s estimated that Maria caused $100 billion in damage. Major power outages are still being reported.
Begnaud was in Puerto Rico when the storm made landfall and has been covering the events and recovery all year. He recently returned to the island for a CBSN documentary about the disaster and the exodus afterward. One study said that almost 200,000 people have fled the island.
“There’s a lot of PTSD, Dana,” Begnaud told CBS2’s Dana Tyler. “There’s a lot of shock. I reached out to people yesterday and asked ‘How are you doing?’ and they said ‘I’m still kind of shell-shocked. I’m still trying to move on.'”
Begnaud’s documentary will appear on CBSN on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m.