Scranton Residents Still Looking To Contact Family In Ravaged Puerto Rico

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SCRANTON -- Families in our area are still trying to reach family members a week after Hurricane Maria devastated all of Puerto Rico.

Newswatch 16 spoke with two women living in Scranton who have relatives living on the offshore Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

"I haven't heard their voice since the hurricane hit. I know nothing about them. I know nothing about my family whatsoever,"

Tears fell down Melissa Lopez's face as she was overwhelmed with sadness from not being about to talk to family.

Newswatch 16 spoke with the Puerto Rico native and her mother Carmen outside the Valley View Terrace in Scranton. They've left hundreds of phone calls and neither of them has heard from family since Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico without power.

"I am a wreck because I am always crying watching the news," Melissa Lopez said.

"This is horrible. I mean everybody else is getting help and our people are basically writing S.O.S. Help, we are starving and they are not being heard," said Carmen Carannante Lopez.

Melissa and Carmen are from Vieques, a small island that's part of Puerto Rico but several miles off the east coast. They feel that their homeland has been forgotten in hurricane coverage.

"I hear other parts of Puerto Rico being mentioned like San Juan, nothing about Vieques, nothing about Culebra which is another sister island next to Vieques," said Melissa.

Melissa worries about her grandmother who just got out of open heart surgery, her uncle, and nephew who all lived on the island.

"I know nothing. I have no whereabouts. My grandmother Lucresia Acosta, if you are there, if you see me, I love you!"

The Lopez family plans to organize a rally in Scranton next week to raise more awareness for those affected by the hurricane.


  • Givemeabreak

    I didn’t vote for Trump and I am not a Trump supporter. I just support the truth and the media is blowing this up and you bought it.

  • Rurbanite

    Les, don’t you realize that the truckers are probably caring for family members, are scrounging for food and supplies, or simply unable to communicate with their dispatchers because there is no electricity or phone service. You are blaming the victims, just as President Trump does when he said “The loss of life — it’s always tragic — but it’s been incredible the results that we’ve had with respect to loss of life. People can’t believe how successful that has been, relatively speaking.” Don’t you see there is something incredibly WRONG with a statenebt like that? To the President, human lives don’t matter — only statistics he can cite as a signal of “success.” What an awful person.

    • Reading is fundamental

      So you and the rest of the Trump haters misconstrue and twist a statement he made regarding relief efforts. So let me ask – what are you doing to help? Volunteer at the Red Cross? Donate funds to relief organizations? How about Katrina – did you help out then?

  • les

    The fact that the island was destroyed and aid has already arrived at the port of San Juan shows the US and the world are trying to help.
    The problem however is that a lot of Puerto Ricans are not helping themselves. Truckers are not showing up to work to haul fuel and aid from the docks. The Puerto Rican government has been implicit in the island’s financial destruction and let their power grid to decay for decades. It pisses me off when people down there try to blame the US government.

    • J Wayne

      How do you get to work when the bridge is out?

      How do you get to work when you have no gas?

      How do you get to work when your vehicle is destroyed.

      How do you get to work when the roads are covered with debris?

      Might as well park the supplies five miles off an island that doesn’t have boats.

    • Givemeabreak

      I saw roads cleared in 2 days in Joplin Mo after a category 5 tornado touched down and obliterated the city. Church groups came in and along with the citizens had the town roads passable.
      I also keep hearing how it’s life and death and the hospital can’t treat their patients but I keep seeing shots of nursing stations with nurses and doctors sitting around smiling for photo ops.
      The TV is all entertainment.

      • Rurbanite

        Church groups got to Joplin MO because they could come by land from nearby states. Puerto Rico is accessible only by sea and air. There is no electricity or telephone service…how can people communicate with each other to see where the need is? The government is actually asking people to register for FEMA help on the Internet. There is no Internet. Wake up and smell the golf course.

      • Givemeabreak

        There was no cell service there either or internet. Why don’t you stop pretending like you know what you are actually talking about. I have been on over 30 disaster sites immediately after a storm. I was a first responder. Who are you and what expertise do you have?

      • Maria

        I bet satellite communications would work in Puerto Rico.

        Technically, the 30 towns making up NEPA aren’t considered a disaster site by the federal government.

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