Central Florida, other communities brace for tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing ravaged island


Since Hurricane Maria ravaged her native Puerto Rico, Mariane Ortiz has been trying desperately to move her family from the island to her Kissimmee home.

But airline ticket prices have soared beyond her reach and thousands of people are stranded at the San Juan airport, making it impossible to bring her parents, siblings and other family members to Central Florida. So only her niece and two nephews, all 12 years old, are coming.

“I want to bring them all here,” said Ortiz, 40. “But I just can’t do it. …This is the best that we can do for now — to make sure that they are still able to go to school.”

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