Colville couple provides aid to recovering Puerto Ricans

Michelle Lee | Contributed
Katie Leithead
S-E Staff Reporter

Four months ago Hurricane Maria, a category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds, tore through the Atlantic Ocean before making landfall in Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory fell into darkness as the majority of the island's electricity was lost, and with it the chance to communicate, to have clean water and to purchase things electronically.

For Colville Rotarians Michelle and Dirk Lee, this disaster was reason to take action.

In May the Lees had purchased a condo in the northwest Isabela region of Puerto Rico, part of a small neighborhood fishing village of approximately 100 homes. They had been traveling there once a month to work on their condo, making friends and getting to know the community along the way.

“When the hurricane hit of course we were scrambling to find information about what had happened, how things were,” Michelle Lee said.

Despite the spotty cellphone service on the island, the Lees were able to contact friends and find Facebook groups that talked about the situation and the supplies needed. Included on the supply list were water purifiers, solar powered phone chargers and food.

Wanting to help with the relief effort, the Lees began ordering supplies.

The full story is available online here or by picking up the Dec. 27, 2017 edition of the S-E.