Hurricane Maria remembrance event held in Williamsburg

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People gathered in Williamsburg Thursday for a day of remembrance to mark one year since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico and other islands in the Caribbean.

Advocates, community members and storm survivors gathered at Moore Street market. The event began with a march from a Banco Popular location, which residents say was instrumental in providing information and support as the hurricane was approaching.

Attendees then walked to the market for a ceremony recognizing evacuees' hardships. Organizers and attendees held a moment of silence to commemorate the thousands of lives lost, as well as those injured or displaced.

One year later, storm evacuees say they are still feeling the pain from Maria's devastation and are looking for ways to move forward.

"It hasn't changed," community activist Cynthia Perez says. "One year later, we still feel like we are struggling. We just want these families to feel like they are comfortable."

Hurricane Maria roared through the Caribbean and onto Puerto Rico's shores in September of 2017, plunging the island into darkness, crippling its infrastructure and leveling homes.

Researchers from George Washington University hired by Puerto Rico's government estimated last month that 2,975 people had died because of Maria in the six months after it made landfall, a number Puerto Rico has accepted as official. An after-action report by FEMA found it had underestimated the food and fresh water needed, and how hard it would be to get supplies to the island.

Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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