'People are desperate' - local describes Puerto Rico devastation

'People are desperate' - local describes Puerto Rico devastation

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The situation on Puerto Rico is being called a humanitarian crisis, because with so many Puerto Ricans in need of help, everyday necessities are starting to run out.

Puerto Rico is home to more than three million Americans. Americans who, because of Hurricane Maria, are in desperate need of help.

"There's no words to describe it," said New Orleans resident Eduardo Gonzalez. "I mean you look at it and it's like what is this? It's not Puerto Rico, it's not the island I know."

Gonzalez' family lives there including his mom, dad, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was born and raised there but came to New Orleans to attend Loyola. After briefly moving away he came back and made New Orleans home. His heart is with family in Puerto Rico who say the storm has left many there with little to nothing.

"Right now fuel is running low," he said. "The power is out so it's hot, people are sticky, people are uncomfortable, they're tired and patience is running low. People are desperate for food, water, basic necessities."

With everyday items in high demand, Gonzalez says it's a crisis. However, adds getting help to Puerto Rico is a lot easier said than done.

"There are hurdle and hoops you have to jump through," he said. "It's not like helping Texas or Florida. You can't drive, you can't get gas by driving to these places. Puerto Rico you have to fly or take a ship to carry all that cargo over there."

"We have about 3,000 pounds worth of supplies that we need to get over to Puerto Rico in San Juan," said Chanse Watson.

Watson is the co-founder of 'Cajun Airlift,' a group that helped send donations to Harvey and Irma victims. However with the current situation in Puerto Rico, Watson says their focus is on Puerto Rico.

"From our understanding it's nearly catastrophic," he said. "They need all the help they can get right now."

Only problem, with a bigger distance to travel, a bigger aircraft is needed. Something Watson says is the one thing they don't have.

"Preferably a large aircraft that can get to Puerto Rico directly from New Orleans or from Houston," he said. "We want to fly as much as possible. We want to fly as many supplies as possible that's our goal. And we have the points of contact there who need the supplies, it's just a matter of getting it too them."

As they ask for help, Gonzalez is doing the same. Both hoping New Orleans will answer.

"I want to see Puerto Rico bounce back the way New Orleans did," said Gonzalez.

The First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, helped create UnitedForPuertoRico.com, a website where people can donate money to help aid in recovery.

If you have anything you’d like to donate, please call the Cajun Airlift at 985-502-3221.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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