(NEWS 8) - Millions of Americans in Puerto Rico are still feeling the severe impact of Hurricane Maria. Power is still out and running water is hard to find for many of the island's residents.
One local deputy fire chief is currently in Puerto Rico and is doing everything he can to help the victims of Maria.
His name is Kelly Zombro and he’s the Deputy Chief of the San Diego Fire Department where he works as an Incident Commander of the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team. Zombro is in Puerto Rico helping the island to slowly recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Zombro says that assistance on the ground is, for the most part, getting through to the people of Puerto Rico, despite conflicting reports.
Zombro's team is working closely with the New York Fire Department, Puerto Rican Firefighters and the Puerto Rican National Guard and the agencies have been tasked with opening roads that have been shut down by the deadly hurricane.
Much of the focus is on the high country, which is mountainous areas of Puerto Rico that are exceedingly hard to access and subject to landslides and mudslides.
Also critical in this recovery process is the determination of the locals.
"They have been opening some of the roads themselves, using chainsaws, machetes, whatever they have access to,” said Zombro. “They are resilient. I am quite impressed.”
One remarkable sign of progress noted by FEMA was the San Juan Airport is open for business and can now handle 250 flights a day.
A touching show of solidarity was on display Sunday as the body of fallen San Diego firefighter Cory Iverson returned to San Diego.
A small plane crashed and burned in an El Cajon parking lot shortly after takeoff Sunday, sending three people to a hospital.
One person was killed and at least two others injured in a two-car crash on Old Highway 395 near Pala Mesa Resort on Sunday.
A driver's license and drunken driving checkpoint in Poway resulted in four arrests, sheriff's officials said Sunday.
Despite recent windy, dry conditions, some San Diegans were treated to cool weather, and in some areas, light sprinkles this weekend.
Distraught doesn't begin to describe the family of Jermaine Barnes, a Mountain View man left with life-threatening brain injuries after he was hit by a car Friday night outside of his home.
Gun owners were given the chance to trade in their unwanted firearms for cash or a skateboard at a gun buyback event hosted by local police and faith leaders on Saturday.
More than 140 children received early Christmas gifts Saturday thanks to a local church and the county's bravest men and women.