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Failing Puerto Rico dam pushed to breaking point

Failing dam in PR
Failing dam in Puerto Rico being pushed to breaking point 01:49

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- A failing dam has created a new crisis in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The 90-year-old dam is being pushed to the breaking point by floodwaters of Hurricane Maria. Tens of thousands who live downstream are scrambling to higher ground. 

Puerto Rico's governor says it's extremely difficult right now to get information out of Guajataca, the city in the western part of the island.

We are told the dam is in the process of failing. It was Friday when the National Weather Service first warned that the dam might fail and that 70,000 people may need to be evacuated. Buses were brought in to transport those people out. 

The dam in Guajataca, Puerto Rico is reaching its breaking point after Hurricane Maria. CBS News

The governor of the island went to Guajataca with satellite phones so that he could keep in contact with emergency officials. But as of Saturday morning, a governor's spokesperson says they can't reach those officials.

Here's the latest from the governor's office: The death count here on the island is 9, but they expect that to go higher and more diesel is being brought in to hospitals on the island that are running low on fuel. The problem is getting that diesel to those hospitals.

The governor's office says two police officers may have been killed on the western part of the island after they were swept away in floodwater.

A failing dam threatens another catastrophe in Puerto Rico 02:18

We spoke with FEMA, the federal emergency management agency, which is on the ground here in Puerto Rico. They are telling us that they are bringing in 1 million liters of water as well as food, medicine, and 31 high capacity generators. 

You may have heard from family members that commercial flights were resuming here on the island and that is true. However, it is extremely difficult to actually get a flight right now. Most people are saying their flights are being canceled.

The good news is that most of the planes that are getting into the island are military planes that have relief aid. But the power is still out here -- and that means just for about everyone, there is no water. 

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