‘Like starting from the bottom again’: San Antonians from Puerto Rico look for ways to help after Fiona slams island

SAN ANTONIO – The impact of Hurricane Fiona, which has devastated the Caribbean and left millions without water or power, is being felt here at home, with many San Antonians from Puerto Rico searching for any updates and ways to help loved ones.

“It’s a little stressful having to wait and just sit around and see what’s going to happen,” said Dali Vazquez, owner of Studio 787 Elite Hair.

Vazquez has been waiting by the phone for any updates from her dad, who lives in Puerto Rico.

“He said that the flooding has been pretty bad. One of the bridges in Yauco, where I grew up, was completely broken down,” said Vazquez.

Vazquez has lived in San Antonio for some time but has seen two devastating hurricanes tear through what used to be home in the last five years.

“It’s a little hard for us to actually have to live it over here knowing everything that they went through during Hurricane Maria,” said Vazquez.

Her family also has friends in the Dominican Republic that have lost everything and have no water.

“One of the girls I know said her house is still standing, but everything inside was flooded,” said Vazquez. “And when we would go to Dominican Republic, we would help little these kids since they were 7 years old. They are 15 now, and their houses got torn down. So I know they’ll be the ones that are be needing more help.”

Olga Roque works at El Pilon, a Puerto Rican restaurant on the Northeast Side. Her youngest daughter, brothers, and sisters are safe for the moment, but she fears this is a repeat of Maria over again.

“It’s like starting from the bottom again. I know it’s really hard for them, losing everything at once,” said Roque.

Both women said the Puerto Rican community continues to grow in San Antonio. And just like five years ago, with Hurricane Maria, they are ready to send food, supplies, water, and anything necessary to the devastated island.

“Puerto Ricans are always together. They’ll help each other a lot,” said Roque.

“I know here in San Antonio, the community gets together, and it’s very helpful,” said Vazquez. “We just have to wait a couple of days to actually find out what the outcome is going to be and what they’re actually going to need.”

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