Hurricane Fiona damage worries north country’s Puerto Rican community

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:42 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico has left most of the island without power and running water. For the north country’s Puerto Rican community, this is hitting close to home.

Carlos Pacheco, the owner of Watertown barbershop D Style, is from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Some family members are still there and Hurricane Fiona wiped out their electricity.

“When it comes down to power, that’s the biggest thing. There’s no light so it makes it a little bit more difficult at night times. My mom gets super scared, has to use candles,” he said.

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico Sunday causing flooding and mudslides, making it hard for people to get around the island.

“Three feet deep for some streets. A lot of the roads there were landslides, so they’re covered with mud so there’s no way to cross it. There were a few bridges taken away by the water because the river came off and took everything that was in the way,” said Pacheco.

He also has family in one of the hardest-hit areas.

“They live in Salinas, Puerto Rico, which is in the south and is actually where Fiona entered the island. And unfortunately for them, they lost everything. They lost their house, couches, clothes,” he said.

Pacheco says being far away from home in a situation like this can be difficult.

“Most way I can help the community is by sending supplies but also trying to figure out a way so that the supplies get to the right people that are in need, that’s the biggest part. So always keep them in prayers, always keep the island in my prayers. That’s where my heart is. that’s where my family is,” he said.

“If you would like to help the Puerto Rican community with some donations, contact Nueva Vida Church Pastor Regina Velez at 315-955-8255.