BOISE - It has been one week since Hurricane Maria tore up the island of Puerto Rico. It left at least 16 people dead and nearly all 3.4 million people without power and water.
The scope of Hurricane Maria's devastation is so broad many people say they've received little to no help. The recovery has largely been a do-it-yourself affair. People are collecting water from wells and streams, clearing roads and repairing their own homes. It's nearly impossible to get gas or diesel. It's also nearly impossible to get a flight off the island.
One family was able to land in Boise Tuesday night where they were welcomed back by family and friends. They moved to Puerto Rico just two months ago and endured two hurricanes during that time.
We caught up with Tyson, Amelia, and 4-year-old Mateo, at Camel's Back Park in Boise Wednesday afternoon. The Carter family counts themselves lucky to be alive and lucky to be off the island.
"It really felt like a war zone," said Tyson Carter, who grew up in Boise. "You have humid, hot, no [air conditioning], no power, no water, no communication."
"Houses are destroyed," added Tyson's wife, Amelia, who grew up in Mexico. "A lot of people lost everything."
They say for Puerto Rico, Hurricane Irma was nothing compared to Hurricane Maria.
"It feels like you're in the worst storm you can ever imagine," described Amelia. "You feel like you're in physical danger."
After the hurricane passed, they say the devastation was clear. Neighborhoods were unrecognizable.
"Everyone has their stuff on the street because it's destroyed," said Tyson. "The good thing is the real first responders are the people, the citizens, and they were out immediately."
The Carters' house in Dorado suffered minimal damage so they quickly joined the effort. They say neighbors are also sharing supplies while at the same time remaining positive. The need, though, is great, and they hope more people will help.
"This is not a charity case," said Amelia. "These are fellow Americans in a very tough position so I encourage everyone help because they really need help. They really need help."
The Carters will probably be in Boise with family for a few months. They say being here frees up resources they would have needed on the island like fuel, food and water.
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