How A Helicopter Pilot Saved Lives After Hurricane In Puerto Rico | Megyn Kelly TODAY
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How A Helicopter Pilot Saved Lives After Hurricane In Puerto Rico | Megyn Kelly TODAY

September 7, 2019


>>>SO TODAY MARKS ONE WEEK>>>SO TODAY MARKS ONE WEEK SINCE HURRICANE FLORENCE BEGAN SINCE HURRICANE FLORENCE BEGAN TO COME ASHORE IN THE CAROLINAS. TO COME ASHORE IN THE CAROLINAS. IT HAPPENS TO MARK ONE YEAR IT HAPPENS TO MARK ONE YEAR SINCE HURRICANE MARIA HIT PUERTO SINCE HURRICANE MARIA HIT PUERTO RICO. RICO. THE DEATH COUNT COULD HAVE BEEN THE DEATH COUNT COULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER IF NOT FOR THE FIRST HIGHER IF NOT FOR THE FIRST RESPONDERS ON THE ONE IN THE RESPONDERS ON THE ONE IN THE AIR. AIR. NBC’S GABE GUTIERREZ IS WITH US NBC’S GABE GUTIERREZ IS WITH US WITH A STORY OF ONE EVERYDAY WITH A STORY OF ONE EVERYDAY HERO. HERO.>>GOOD MORNING.>>GOOD MORNING. IT’S GREAT TO BE HERE. IT’S GREAT TO BE HERE. YOU KNOW, WE’VE HEARD A LOT OF YOU KNOW, WE’VE HEARD A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT WHAT WENT WRONG IN STORIES ABOUT WHAT WENT WRONG IN PUERTO RICO. PUERTO RICO. HERE’S ONE ABOUT WHAT WENT HERE’S ONE ABOUT WHAT WENT RIGHT. RIGHT. A COMMERCIAL HELICOPTER PILOT A COMMERCIAL HELICOPTER PILOT TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF TO RUSH TOOK IT UPON HIMSELF TO RUSH SUPPLIES TO THE MOST DESPERATE SUPPLIES TO THE MOST DESPERATE PARTS OF THE ISLAND. PARTS OF THE ISLAND. HE’S NOW SHARING HIS STORY FOR HE’S NOW SHARING HIS STORY FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE FIRST TIME.>>Reporter: IT’S KNOWN AS THE>>Reporter: IT’S KNOWN AS THE ISLAND OF ENCHANT WANT FOR A ISLAND OF ENCHANT WANT FOR A REASON. REASON. FROM ABOVE THE VIEW OF PUERTO FROM ABOVE THE VIEW OF PUERTO RICO IS MESMERIZING, AND CARLOS RICO IS MESMERIZING, AND CARLOS GETS TO ENJOY IT EVERY DAY. GETS TO ENJOY IT EVERY DAY.>>I’M A TRUE PUERTO RICAN.>>I’M A TRUE PUERTO RICAN. YOU KNOW? YOU KNOW? I CARRY MY ISLAND IN MY HEART. I CARRY MY ISLAND IN MY HEART. A FORMER POLICE OFFICER, THE A FORMER POLICE OFFICER, THE FATHER OF TWO NOW RUNS HIS OWN FATHER OF TWO NOW RUNS HIS OWN HELICOPTER COMPANY. HELICOPTER COMPANY. A YEAR AGO CARLOS KNEW SOMETHING A YEAR AGO CARLOS KNEW SOMETHING WAS ABOUT TO GO HORRIBLY WRONG. WAS ABOUT TO GO HORRIBLY WRONG.>>Reporter: STRAPPED IN HIS>>Reporter: STRAPPED IN HIS CHOPPER HE WAS CRISSCROSSING THE CHOPPER HE WAS CRISSCROSSING THE ISLAND HOURS BEFORE HURRICANE ISLAND HOURS BEFORE HURRICANE MARIA ROOR MARIA ROOR MARIA ROARED THROUGH. MARIA ROARED THROUGH.>>WERE YOU EVACUATING PEOPLE>>WERE YOU EVACUATING PEOPLE BEFORE? BEFORE?>>YES.>>YES. MY CELL PHONE NEVER STOPPED MY CELL PHONE NEVER STOPPED RINGING. RINGING. YOU KNOW? YOU KNOW? AND IT WAS WHO WE GIVE PRIORITY? AND IT WAS WHO WE GIVE PRIORITY? I MEAN, SICK, ELDERLY PEOPLE. I MEAN, SICK, ELDERLY PEOPLE. OLD PEOPLE? OLD PEOPLE? KIDS? KIDS?>>Reporter: CARLOS SAYS HE WAS>>Reporter: CARLOS SAYS HE WAS THE LAST HELICOPTER PILOT IN THE THE LAST HELICOPTER PILOT IN THE AIR AS THE STORM CLOSED IN. AIR AS THE STORM CLOSED IN.>>AT THAT POINT DID YOU THINK>>AT THAT POINT DID YOU THINK THIS WAS LIFE OR DEATH? THIS WAS LIFE OR DEATH?>>Reporter: IT WAS LIFE OR>>Reporter: IT WAS LIFE OR DEATH. DEATH.>>Reporter: IT WAS>>Reporter: IT WAS CATASTROPHIC. CATASTROPHIC. THE HURRICANE RAGED FOR HOURS THE HURRICANE RAGED FOR HOURS AND LEFT A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION. AND LEFT A TRAIL OF DESTRUCTION. PARTS OF PUERTO RICO UNDER PARTS OF PUERTO RICO UNDER WATER. WATER. TRAPPED RESIDENTS FORCED TO WADE TRAPPED RESIDENTS FORCED TO WADE THROUGH RUSHING WATERS TO THROUGH RUSHING WATERS TO ESCAPE. ESCAPE. TREES TOPPLED. TREES TOPPLED. THE ENTIRE ISLAND WITHOUT POWER. THE ENTIRE ISLAND WITHOUT POWER. AND THAT’S WHEN CARLOS GOT BACK AND THAT’S WHEN CARLOS GOT BACK IN THE AIR. IN THE AIR. THERE WAS NO AIR TRAFFIC THERE WAS NO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL? CONTROL?>>NO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL.>>NO AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL. IT WAS COMING. IT WAS COMING. AIRPLANES, HELICOPTERS. AIRPLANES, HELICOPTERS.>>Reporter: DO YOU THINK THOSE>>Reporter: DO YOU THINK THOSE FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS, WITH NO FIRST COUPLE OF DAYS, WITH NO CELL PHONE SERVICE, NO POWER. CELL PHONE SERVICE, NO POWER. DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE ALL DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE ALL ALONE OUT HERE? ALONE OUT HERE?>>I FELT LIKE WE WERE IN>>I FELT LIKE WE WERE IN ANOTHER WORLD. ANOTHER WORLD.>>Reporter: BUT RERUSHED, FOOD,>>Reporter: BUT RERUSHED, FOOD, AND EVACUATED SIX FAMILIES TO AND EVACUATED SIX FAMILIES TO THE FEW FUNCTIONING HOSPITALS. THE FEW FUNCTIONING HOSPITALS.>>IT WAS A LOT DESPERATE.>>IT WAS A LOT DESPERATE. IT WAS VERY DESPERATE. IT WAS VERY DESPERATE. NO WATER. NO WATER. NO FOOD. NO FOOD.>>Reporter: HE TOOK US TO A>>Reporter: HE TOOK US TO A MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY CUT OFF FOR MOUNTAIN COMMUNITY CUT OFF FOR MORE THAN A MONTH. MORE THAN A MONTH.>>THE ONLY WAY TO GET HERE IS>>THE ONLY WAY TO GET HERE IS BY HELICOPTER. BY HELICOPTER.>>Reporter: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO>>Reporter: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW SOME OF THESE PEOPLE MIGHT KNOW SOME OF THESE PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE SURVIVED BECAUSE OF YOU? HAVE SURVIVED BECAUSE OF YOU?>>WELL — UM, I JUST FEEL>>WELL — UM, I JUST FEEL BLESSED. BLESSED.>>Reporter: AND ON THIS DAY IN>>Reporter: AND ON THIS DAY IN THE DISTANCE, HE SEES TWO OF THE THE DISTANCE, HE SEES TWO OF THE MEN HE’D HELPED. MEN HE’D HELPED. THEY’RE STILL GRATEFUL FOR THE THEY’RE STILL GRATEFUL FOR THE GENERATOR CARLOS BROUGHT THEM. GENERATOR CARLOS BROUGHT THEM. NOW ONE YEAR LATER THE POWER OF NOW ONE YEAR LATER THE POWER OF MARIA IS SINKING IN. MARIA IS SINKING IN.>>JUST GIVE ME A SECOND.>>JUST GIVE ME A SECOND. I FEEL BLESSED THAT I HAD THE I FEEL BLESSED THAT I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE EVERYTHING OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE EVERYTHING THAT I HAD IN MY HEART. THAT I HAD IN MY HEART.>>WOW.>>WOW. WHAT A GUY WHO, YOU KNOW, YOU WHAT A GUY WHO, YOU KNOW, YOU BRING HIM THERE. BRING HIM THERE. HE SAVED LIVES. HE SAVED LIVES.>>YEAH.>>YEAH.>>AND YOU ASK HIM HOW THAT>>AND YOU ASK HIM HOW THAT FEELS TO HAVE SAVED THE LIVES FEELS TO HAVE SAVED THE LIVES AND HE SAYS HE FEELS BLESSED. AND HE SAYS HE FEELS BLESSED.>>IT WAS AN HONOR TO MEET HIM.>>IT WAS AN HONOR TO MEET HIM. I THINK ON THIS ONE-YEAR I THINK ON THIS ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE MARIA, ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE MARIA, WE’VE HEARD ABOUT WHAT WENT WE’VE HEARD ABOUT WHAT WENT WRONG AND WHAT DIDN’T. WRONG AND WHAT DIDN’T. THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT WENT RIGHT, AND HIGHLIGHT WHAT WENT RIGHT, AND THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE CARLOS ON THAT ISLAND THAT CARLOS ON THAT ISLAND THAT REALLY STEPPED UP. REALLY STEPPED UP. WERE VOLUNTEERS AND HELPED THEIR WERE VOLUNTEERS AND HELPED THEIR FELLOW PUERTO RICANS GET THROUGH FELLOW PUERTO RICANS GET THROUGH THAT STORM. THAT STORM.>>THE HELPERS.>>THE HELPERS. HOW ARE THEY DOING IN PUERTO HOW ARE THEY DOING IN PUERTO RICO? RICO?>>THINGS HAVE STARTED TOIC UP>>THINGS HAVE STARTED TOIC UP IN PUERTO RICO. IN PUERTO RICO. YOU HEAR OFFICIALS TALK ACT HOW YOU HEAR OFFICIALS TALK ACT HOW TOUSHISM IS GETTING BACK. TOUSHISM IS GETTING BACK. IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON HEADING TO IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON HEADING TO PUERTO RICO, IT’S BEAUTIFUL AND PUERTO RICO, IT’S BEAUTIFUL AND THEY’RE TRYING TO BOUNCE BACK THEY’RE TRYING TO BOUNCE BACK AFTER THE STORM. AFTER THE STORM. BUT IT WAS DIFFICULT. BUT IT WAS DIFFICULT. THEY WERE WITHOUT POWER FOR SO THEY WERE WITHOUT POWER FOR SO LONG. LONG. WE EVEN SPOKE WITH SOMEBODY WE EVEN SPOKE WITH SOMEBODY THAT’S STILL OUT POWER A YEAR THAT’S STILL OUT POWER A YEAR LATER EVEN THOUGH THE GOVERNMENT LATER EVEN THOUGH THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THAT 100% OF CUSTOMERS HAVE SAYS THAT 100% OF CUSTOMERS HAVE POWER. POWER. THEY ARE STILL STRUGGLING. THEY ARE STILL STRUGGLING. IT WILL TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO IT WILL TAKE A VERY LONG TIME TO REBUILD, AND THIS IS SOMETHING REBUILD, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO STAY WITH PUERTO THAT’S GOING TO STAY WITH PUERTO RICO FOR YEARS TO COME, BUT THEY RICO FOR YEARS TO COME, BUT THEY ARE BOUNCING BACK. ARE BOUNCING BACK.>>AND A GREAT PLACE TO SPEND>>AND A GREAT PLACE TO SPEND YOUR TOURISM DOLLARS. YOUR TOURISM DOLLARS. HOW BETTER TO HELP? HOW BETTER TO HELP? YOU CAN DONATE YOUR TIME, YOUR YOU CAN DONATE YOUR TIME, YOUR MONEY, GO ON YOUR NEXT FAMILY MONEY, GO ON YOUR NEXT FAMILY VACATION THERE AND HELP THEM

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