October 11, 2017 5:26 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Couple returns to Montreal after almost a month stranded in Puerto Rico

WATCH: A Montreal couple, stuck in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the island last month, recounts the long struggle to come back home. Global’s Billy Shields reports.

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For the first time in almost a month, Cody-Anna Orlando is back in Montreal.

She and her boyfriend Philippe Croteau-Gariepy were only supposed to be gone a bit more than a week when they took a vacation in Rincon, Puerto Rico. That trip ended up lasting 25 days.

“When we first contacted [the Canadian government] they said ‘don’t worry, help is on the way,'” she said. “And then we started to notice that nothing was getting done.” Croteau-Gariepy, told Global News, adding his concern was for Puerto Ricans.

“They need their food. They need their water. And we people from the outside? While we’re there, we’re taking these resources from them,” he said.

READ MORE: Puerto Rico investigating possible post-hurricane disease outbreak after 4 deaths

According to Global Affairs Canada, the agency was in touch with Canadians to advise them on how to leave the island after the storm.

But the couple feels the government didn’t do enough.

“The government wasn’t helpful in any way,” Orlando said. “It was basically up to us.”

READ MORE: Royal Caribbean sends ship on humanitarian mission to Puerto Rico, nearly 2,000 evacuated

The couple got out on a commercial flight on Tuesday, Oct. 10 after the airport began running regular flights again.

The couple has started a website to raise funds from Canadians for Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico. “The Puerto Ricans were awesome people with us,” Gariepy said.

 

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