Pittsburghers With Family In Puerto Rico Devastated By Hurricane Maria Damage

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburghers with family in Puerto Rico are still trying to come to grips with the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

Dr. Lilly Pulsunas, a Puerto Rican native and Pittsburgh-area pediatrician, spends lots of time looking at the destruction by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Strong winds and heavy rains flooded and destroyed homes, took down trees and left her home of San Lorenzo without electricity.

“I have spoken with some of my family members,” Pulsunas said. “They have notified me that my family is doing OK.”

It could take months to restore electricity and fresh water because the infrastructure was devastated.

“At this point, I’m focusing all the efforts for those who haven’t even spoken to their families, to those that have lost it all, to those that lost their lives,” she said.

Angel Sanchez Rivera, a La Roche College graduate and employee, has not talked to his family in Manatí, Puerto Rico. He thinks they’re OK, but can’t believe the destruction.

“I’ve been just looking at the pictures and just remember when I was there,” he said. “It’s not going to be the same. It’s not the same. The trees are all down.”

Alaysa Rhymer, a sophomore at La Roche College, is from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Her family survived the hurricane.

“There is no electricity. There’s no running water,” she said. “There’s no power. The service is very limited. Even if you do get in contact with your family, it’s only for a couple minutes.”

Like Hurricane Harvey and Irma, the public is being asked to help. Cash donations can go to Unidos Por Puerto Rico and the American Red Cross, among others.

“It’s sad. I mean, to see the devastation, it is so sad, and you feel so bad for what the people are going through there,” Dan Tobin of the American Red Cross said, “and hopefully we can help out and make it a little bit easier on them.”

Donate to Unidos Puerto Rico here: unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Donate to the Red Cross here: redcross.org

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