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When the sun sets in Puerto Rico, it brings with it an unencumbered view of the Milky Way. But it’s a view a growing number aren’t sticking around to see. As federal aid and independent relief efforts come trickling onto the island, an increasing number of residents who can afford to, or find a way to, continue to leave — reports already have shown a significant number fleeing to Florida.

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When it rains in Puerto Rico, it rains hard and it rains fast. And this week — three weeks after Hurricane Maria — it has rained a lot. For portions of the island – especially in the mountains and in the valleys – that rain brings a continual trauma of mudslides and flooding. Even in San Juan, highway exits pool with a foot or more of water. In restaurants with cell service, the S.O.S alarms on phones ring out in a cacophony – warning of flash floods. But the capital city has fared comparatively well — it's the rural places that are doing much, much worse.

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Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark (HFHGN) today announced it is partnering with “New Jersey for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief” (NJ4PR) in a statewide effort to help the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “Millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico are facing a crisis,” said Jeffrey J. Farrell, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark, which serves Essex, Hudson and Union counties. “Our ties to the Puerto Rican community in our service area run deep, all the way back to the founding of our affiliate in 1986.”

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