Puerto Ricans evacuate devastated island with help from San Antonians

More than 80 percent of the island of Puerto Rico remains without power after powerful Hurricane Maria hit the island last month.

More than 80 percent of the island of Puerto Rico remains without power after powerful Hurricane Maria hit the island last month.

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday:

... We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!

But one Converse woman, Chandel Robles, is determined to do whatever it takes to get help to the battered island she grew up on. Robles left San Antonio on Thursday morning with eight to 10 suitcases full of supplies.

“I don’t think the island is ready to be left on it’s own,” said Robles over the phone from Puerto Rico. “I think we could still use the support. Those are our rights. We’re Americans."

Her mission is to help those in smaller towns where help has not arrived. She’s also there to rescue her 92-year-old grandfather and bring him back to San Antonio.

In Stone Oak, another woman, Migdalia Aponte, ran a 5K in support of sending aid to the island.

“We still need all of the help we can get," Aponte said. "There are still a lot of families that are not getting the help yet and we are afraid we are going to lose more people."

Aponte serves as the president of the Association of Puerto Ricans in San Antonio, or APRISA, which has been a resource to many on the island who are looking to relocate to San Antonio.

“We get a lot of Puerto Ricans that are getting ready to leave the island. They call and ask about San Antonio’s public transportation and jobs,” she said.

Aponte said that Puerto Rico still has a long way to go and that help from the U.S is still very much needed.

“We’re resilient, but it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to take a long time," she said. "I see it taking a long time. But we will keep trying."

© 2017 KENS-TV


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