People around the Bay desperate to hear from family in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria causes concern for Bay families
Posted at 6:27 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 18:27:00-04

Family and friends around the Bay were desperate to hear from their loved ones living in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria passed through the island on Wednesday.

The Category 4 storm left the entire island without power, much of it flooded and debris scattered everywhere.

"I'm just speechless,” said Frances Garcia, whose dad, step-mom and siblings live on the island. “Mind boggling, can’t wrap my head around it kind of like, surreal, like ‘is this real life?’”

Garcia’s dad sent her videos and pictures during and after the storm.

The trees are scattered in his backyard, much of the area around him flooded.

“To know that ravine, that over floated from the pictures and videos that I’ve posted on my Facebook,” she said, referring to the a picture her dad sent of his home. “I used to play in that ravine as a child.”

Jolie Gonzalez-Padilla hadn't heard from her dad since the night before the hurricane hit.

The only times she’s heard his voice since then are when her calls are answered by his voicemail.

Much of the island’s phone service is out and many are using social media or texts to communicate.

"Despite the images, even despite the videos I’m believing for the best,” said Gonzalez.

Ricardo Rossello, Puerto Rico’s governor, set a strict curfew for people on the island from 6:00p.m.-6:00 a.m. Wednesday until Saturday.

He used Twitter to warn of dangers even after the storm, urging people to stay in a safe spot as flood warnings continued throughout the island even after the storm subsided.

Gonzalez-Padilla and Garcia aren’t letting the images of their island destroy their morale.

“Somehow or another we’re going to rebuild,” said Gonzalez, “and we’re going to be better but hopefully we’ll never see another storm like this.”

Gonzalez-Padilla is already planning a prayer vigil and relief efforts during the VIVA Jesus Festival planned for Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Florida State Fairgrounds from noon-5:00 p.m.

LULAC will help collect water, non-perishable foods and other items to send to the island.