Scranton Residents Looking for Ways to Contact Family in Puerto Rico

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SCRANTON -- The devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria can be felt almost 2,000 miles away.

At Ramirez Salon on Pittston Avenue in Scranton, Newswatch 16 spoke with Victor Penzo in between haircuts. He is thinking of relatives he hasn't heard from since the storm hit.

“It is definitely devastating. It is definitely a problem that you can't speak to anybody. It is crazy that it is going on like that and it keeps coming and coming and does not stop,” Penzo.

The hurricane left Puerto Rico completely without power.

With hundreds of shelters in place, Penzo says it is very hard to find out where his family is. Although Puerto Rico may be looked at as a popular tourist spot, it's home to many people.

“It is definitely taking effect on a lot of people and you know it is just tough it's just tough. It's a tough situation,” said Penzo.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Maria Velez outside the Salvation Army in Scranton. She spoke with her family days before the hurricane made landfall but hasn't heard anything from them since.

“No communication, there is no water, there is no electricity, everything is flooded. There is a lot of people dying out there and it's really hard for us out here,” Velez.

Velez is hoping for the best and is already trying to figure out ways to help once she can communicate with loved ones again.

“We are just trying to see if we can get some help out here to send some stuff up, clothes, food, water, anything anybody can do to try to help us to get some stuff out there,” said Velez.

Because of the high amount of calls, the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration urges people trying to contact their family to email


  • Informed

    Hey, pot smoker, of course they don’t pay taxes, they don’t get to vote. We went to war with England (it was called the Revolutionary War) when England wanted to tax us. “No taxation without representation.”
    Read. Learn. Be quiet.

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