Phoenix residents worried about loved ones back in Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria

It's a desperate situation in Puerto Rico, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and there are some who live in the Valley who have been unable to contact their friends and family there.

"Everybody comes in, and the first thing out of their mouths is 'Have you heard?" said local restaurant owner Wesley Andujar.

That's the question many people have asked, in hopes that someone knows of any updates on their loved ones in Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, millions are left without power. Andujar said it becomes harder and harder everyday not knowing what's going on in his homeland.

"I want to know what's going on out there, you know?" said Andujar. "I watch TV, it's just horrible with the flooding, and your mind just keeps going, and everyone is worried here."

Andujar said one employee was able to get a hold of family, right before the power went out.

"We had an employee talk to her brother two nights ago, and he was crying to her about how their house is gone. There is nothing left. They're out in the streets," said Andujar.

Others in the community are coming together to support one another, during this difficult time. Valley woman Shranda Ceballos received an update on her father when the storm hit.

"He was inside the home. He was OK," said Ceballos. "From what he could see, there were roofs, poles, trees everywhere, but he couldn't get out. And then, there hasn't been any communication since."

That is why Ceballos, as well as others, are taking action to help those in need back in Puerto Rico.

"We're trying to raise funds and trying to collect items," said Ceballos. "Pampers, batteries, flash lights. Anything that they need. They need everything, but we are trying to do everything we can from here."

The following local businesses have reportedly committed to accept donations:

  • Puerto Rico Latin Grill in Phoenix
  • Millie's Cafe Puerto Rican Cuisine in Mesa
  • Fair Trade Cafe in Phoenix
  • NYC Beauty Salon in Mesa
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