"The Island Next Door" Documentary

One year after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, Connecticut Public presents a documentary featuring people of Puerto Rico and Connecticut, and the stories of how their lives have been changed by the storm. Stream on demand here, at CPTV.org or CPTV Passport

About This Project

Hurricane Maria tore through the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017 – taking out power lines, destroying homes, disrupting industries, raking the island’s forests, and displacing families.

Since then, Connecticut Public Radio’s reporters have covered the aftermath of the storm both from the mainland and from the island’s streets and mountains because – with 300,000 state residents who claim island roots – Hurricane Maria is a local story.


The week in CT news: Remembering Sandy Hook, East Granby gun incident, Puerto Rican statehood Frankie and Johnny mark one decade since the Sandy Hook shooting, discuss a gun incident at an East Granby elementary school, and note a long-shot push for Puerto Rican statehood.
The week in CT news: Hurricane Fiona, Alex Jones testifies, Aaron Judge chases 61 Frankie & Johnny: Sept. 23, 2022. Topics this week include Hurricane Fiona's impact on Puerto Rico, testimony in Connecticut from defendant Alex Jones in the Sandy Hook defamation trial, and New York ...
Connecticut officials respond with aid and calls for assistance to powerless Puerto Rico In 2019, Connecticut was home to the sixth-largest concentration of Puerto Ricans in the United States.
Photos: Puerto Rico Four Years After Hurricane Maria View the ongoing rebuilding and daily life photographed during the filming of Connecticut Public’s documentary Cutline - Los de María: Four Years After the Hurricane.
LISTEN: Puerto Rico "Still In Dire Need Of Recovery" From Hurricane Maria Reporter Brenda Leon talks with John Henry Smith about her visit to Puerto Rico nearly 4 years after Hurricane Maria
Out Of Service? State No Longer Recommends Puerto Rican Evacuees Dial 211 Connecticut has released more funding to help evacuees from Puerto Rico -- but the state isn’t recommending that people call 211 to connect with the…

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On The Island

Click the markers in the map to see our stories by location.

On The Mainland


About This Project

The Island Next Door is a reporting project that came out of the recognition that Hurricane Maria was a distant storm with a local impact.

Begun in the WNPR newsroom, this project aims to tell the stories that link New England and Puerto Rico — finding the people, places, successes and challenges on the island and the mainland today.

The Island Next Door has been honored with several national, regional and local awards including:

  • 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video
  • 2018 PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors Incorporated) 2nd place for National Edited Continuing Coverage
  • 2018 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage
  • 2018 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video
  • 2018 New England Emmy for Outstanding Video Journalist
  • 1st place Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists award for feature photo
  • 2nd place Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists awards for video essay and continuing coverage.
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