San Juan mayor: Hurricane Maria is Trump's Katrina

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump in San Juan Puerto Rico in October 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Maria

It's just one of many resources around the state that have helped about 8,000 people who left Puerto Rico find a job. He said crews didn't have access to the best materials at the time or were forced to rely on temporary fixes, such as using trees as makeshift power polls after Maria destroyed up to 75 percent of transmission lines.

Cruz-Torres added those in the coastal areas, fishermen in particular, were among the hardest hit because of the gear and boats they lost.

Tarps still covered many homes that have yet to be rebuilt in the town of 37,000, even as the nostalgic strains of "Amanecer Borincano" - "Puerto Rican Dawn" - resonated at the spot where Maria first unleashed its fury.

Jeanette Morelan, communications and marketing manager for World Central Kitchen, said that Puerto Rico was already importing about 85 percent of its food before Hurricane Maria.

The work was part of the CUNY Service Corps - Puerto Rico effort and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative.

Ilanys Hernandez, who now lives in Bridgeport, was born in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. Instead, the Commission released a report that bundled all 2017 Atlantic hurricanes (despite the fact that Hurricane Maria caused significantly more damage than the others) almost an entire year later. The San Juan mayor has noted that the island has seen only a fraction of nearly $50 billion in recovery funds Congress approved, including the $20 billion in HUD funds.

"People need direct help here through local communities rather than through the government because we don't know what happens to the money once the government gets it", Rodriguez told Bloomberg News.

On Thursday, Trump issued a one-sentence statement on the one-year anniversary of Maria.

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"To the families of each and everyone one of them, I express solidarity from all of Puerto Rico", he said.

Nivia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old retiree whose uncle died a week after Maria, is among those disgruntled by Trump's comments, as well as by videos of rescue crews responding to Hurricane Florence in North Carolina.

Though they feel camaraderie together gathered at a park in Allentown, they feel the government turned its back on Puerto Rico.

"It's too much", she said. "Hurricane Maria took with it many lives that we will not overlook and that we still remember with a great weight of pain", Governor Ricardo Rossello said Thursday ahead of a planned memorial event: "One Year After Maria" with religious leaders and government officials.

But others felt that Maria's tragic legacy still needs to be acknowledged, long after the anniversary has passed.

"There's some language barriers that need to be overcome, but what we've seen is, again, the hospitality, the hotel, resort, and lodging industry have opened their doors", Jim Wall of Career Source Southwest Florida said.

"Three thousand people died on his watch". There also will be live music that will incorporate sounds of the hurricane hitting the island. "But there will be certain uncomfortable moments".

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