PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A medical student at Ross University on Dominica is enjoying his first full day at home in Portland following a harrowing experience.
Hurricane Maria barreled through the Caribbean island, killing at least 27 people. Many are still missing.
San Napolitano feels lucky to be alive and very grateful to finally be off the island. He was among the last at the university to be evacuated. It took eight days.
He said there was no time to evacuate before the storm because it strengthened so fast.
"While the storm was scary … it was after the storm when students realized they were trapped on the island," Napolitano said. "That's when things really got tough."
EMS leaders on the island met with the student after the storm to say they had no evacuation plan. Napolitano said that's when people started to panic because there was no power, and their supplies of food and water were low.
Napolitano is waiting, along with the 1,200 other Ross med students, to find out if the school is able to locate an alternate campus where classes can resume. He believes it will be at least nine months before the Ross University campus on Dominica can be rebuilt.