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Poconos for Puerto Rico: Continuing Efforts for Hurricane Victims in Puerto Rico

STROUDSBURG -- People in Puerto Rico are still trying to get back on their feet weeks after Hurricane Maria left them without power. Groups in our area are continuing to help, but they have worries about the island going forward.

“A lot of trees down, a lot of loss of infrastructure, my dad was hearing 'pop pop' with the transformer,” said Shayla Diaz Broccoli.

Shayla Diaz Broccoli described the reality for her father living near San Juan, Puerto Rico after the whole island was hit by a hurricane almost a month ago.

The organizer of Poconos for Puerto Rico showed Newswatch 16 picture after picture of the devastated island.

“Especially in the beginning when you don't know where your family is, it's heartbreaking. That’s how the whole thing kind of started, just the anxiety of not knowing how your family is doing,” said Broccoli.

Poconos for Puerto Rico has been collecting all sorts of supplies for victims at churches, grocery stores,  and other small businesses since late September.

She says some places are better than others, but Puerto Rico is still in need of supplies.

“Some areas have water, but the areas that don't, the main necessity is water and food. Gasoline was a huge one, but they are starting to restore that, so you know, water, food,” says Broccoli.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Anthony Stevens Arroyo at the Church of St. Luke's on Main Street in Stroudsburg.  His family had to travel more than 50 miles to San Juan to use a phone to contact family in the United States. Arroyo says the recovery efforts are far from over.

“It's a sad situation because you have people actually dying. I mean, we are talking about public health. It's the aftermath as with (Hurricane) Katrina. That is actually worse than the disaster,” said Arroyo.

Governor's Advisory Commission of Latino Affairs  will be covering picking up items and sending them to Puerto Rico.

Items will be collected every Wednesday and Friday until October 20, then send the first round of supplies to Puerto Rico.

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