SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The worst of the storm passed by Puerto Rico, which avoided taking a direct hit, but Irma still left a trail of death and destruction.
Gov. Ricardo Rosselló reported at least three storm-related deaths, along with widespread power outages that left nearly a million people in the dark.
“The hurricane has passed; now we are in an emergency situation, making sure that everyone is safe,” the governor said.
The power outages disabled the capital’s traffic signals, though there was movement on the streets — if sometimes barely: A Burger King here had a 30-minute wait for the drive-through Thursday.
In the Hato Rey neighborhood, some streets looked untouched, while others, just a block or two away, were covered with branches and giant brown palm fronds.
In Miramar, a neighborhood much closer to the water, there was more obvious damage — including scores of trees pulled out by their roots, taking large chunks of concrete sidewalk with them.
Still, said Carlos Rosado: “We were expecting something bad but ended up leaving the doors open, watching the wind blow leaves by all night.”
Rosado lives in Miramar, in a live-work studio made of corrugated steel and wood.
His neighbor, Christian Barbosa, watched most of the storm from a second-floor balcony.
Sweeping leaves and pink flowers from his steps, Barbosa said he was “happy the storm passed, but now we have to deal with the most difficult part, not having electricity. We just have to wait. It could be a few days or a few weeks; there’s just no way to tell.
“Plus, there’s another storm, Jose. Who knows where it’s going to hit, and how much damage it will do.”