Transcript for Return to Puerto Rico: How Puerto Ricans continue to struggle 6 months later
Explain to us what was here. The living room. This is the living room. The kitchen. It was my mother's room. For Carmen torres Gonzalez home is now a distant memory. Where is your furniture? All gone? No se. More than 20 years of her life built here in Puerto Rico now reduced to blocks of concrete and piles of wood. What of all of the stuff here has been the hardest thing to lose? The house. The house? It's been six long months since Carmen and 3 million others living on this island found themselves at the mercy of hurricane MARIA. Carmen from the safety of her neighbors house watches as category winds 155 miles an hour ripped apart her home. So many people left, why stay? Do you want to the stay here? Where? Here. I want my house back. But rebuilding is a daunting task. Officials say hurricane MARIA left $100 billion of damages in its wake, no power, no cell service trees blocking roads and separating families. Still six months later Puerto Rico governor tells us the island has so much further to go. Of course the last mile, as they call it, is really the toughest one to get to. Mountains and small communities that are somewhat isolated. So now is when sort of the real work begins. One of those areas morovis, located in the center of the island. We were first able to make the journey here just six days after the storm. The bridge to the neighboring town was gone. This used to be part of the bridge that has now completely collapsed in the force of hurricane MARIA's wind, this town now completely isolated. Families forced to wade the treacherous rouse wires guys only a wire to hold on to. What do you have to do? We got to walk. We got to cross. Today the flood waters have reseeded and cars are able to cross and the new bridge is almost done. This is where the power, the electricity would come from. You can see that pole is knocked over. Across the street we come across the Rodriguez family. Eva? Marie. Nice to meet you. Their home is still in tact but like all her neighbors they are still without power. . She's telling us that they've actually switched their stove to gas so that they can cook on it. They have little candles all over the house. She tells you they spend over $3,000 on gas for the generator. It only powers their home at night. Officials say electricity has been restored to 93% of the island but 100,000 customers are still without power. N heigthere hasn't been a day maximum effort hasn't been out to get the power back. 885 generators are still in use. Ten. Good news is we have a chance to build it back the right way. How long will you be here? Long as it take buzz five to ten years is not outside of the realm of possibility. In town of Y Abu coa is also waiting to see the light. . Language ]. Mayor there tells us that they spent almost $350,000 fuelling generators just to pump clean water into the community. People have to be tired of not having Normal at this point. The United States army corp of engineers is hoping to have full power restored onto island by June, just as this year's hurricane season begins. It's the biggest challenge ever as far as devastation to an electrical grid system in the United States. To help restore the system they have spent the past six months clearing down trees, in many areas helicopters are the only way to install power poles, dropping workers right on them to string the electrical wire. Yesteay I watched a helicopter that was moving between three poles to string four wires across three poles that takes about five hours. Inside their headquarters colonel shows a map of the power grid pink dots are where work needs to be done. How much is restoration and how much is focussing on making sure the lines are there post hurricane season next year. It's really both. ??? The island starting to regain its color but a midst the greenery, mountains and mountains of debris. Millions of cubic yards of debris, you can see this one pile from one town just metal all from hurricane MARIA. The images are daunting but also a reminder of the progress so far one of those glimmers of change, this 14 story retirement home right outside San Juan last time we were here no running water, the stairs, the only way in or out. What can do leave them here. So many of the elderly resident in desperate need of help. The hall ways pitch black. Months later we return, the lights and electricity back on. We are taking the elevator this time opposed to the stairs. The residents now with a in the morning I say life is good. For many here this tropical paradise is finally coming back to life, in old San Juan music fills the streets again giving so many a sense that the old Normal is possible, a Normal that Carmen torres back in San Lorenzo is still waiting for. She knows it will take time but plans to rebuild because this is home. You're going to rebuild though right? Huh. You're rebuilding. Four "Nightline" in Puerto Rico. ???
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.