September 20, 7:00 PM
1912 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA
On September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. Nearly 3,000 American citizens lost their lives. The damage to the island’s economy, agriculture, infrastructure and people’s lives was vast and will take years to restore. Hurricanes Irma and Maria highlighted the long-term challenges of Puerto Rico and the greater Caribbean at the frontline of Hurricane Alley. This presentation addresses the cumulative impact on Puerto Rico of storms during the 20th century. It will cover examples of the immediate and lingering effects of the hurricane on businesses and individuals impacting the recovery effort, in addition to the grind of living in the aftermath of the storms without power, without traffic lights, and with a cash-only economy. In addition to discussing factors that make the Island uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes, the presentation also discusses the fragility and resiliency of government agencies, habitats, organized and spontaneous networks, charities, businesses, and individuals.
Pedro Sifre, P.E. is a structural engineer with thirty-five years of experience designing buildings and other structures. His expertise includes design for extreme weather and seismic events. He is a Senior Principal and structural design practice leader at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) in Waltham, MA. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT; and a Masters in Structural Engineering from U.C. Berkeley. Mr. Sifre has visited Puerto Rico multiple times since the hurricane where he has been following the pace of recovery, researching the lingering effects on the island’s economy, reconstruction and agriculture. He grew up in Puerto Rico and is a long term resident of Lexington where he lives with his wife Caroline. The presentation will take place on the second anniversary of Hurricane Maria. There will be an opportunity for discussion following the presentation and to learn how you can support Lexington Unites for Puerto Rico ongoing efforts. Reception immediately following presentation.