PHOENIX (KSAZ) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth on the Caribbean, is without power. There is flooding, and some have no drinking water, in addition to running out of supplies, and a Valley couple is experience all of this, first hand.
Matt Stelling is an adventurous guy, but 10 days after he and his girlfriend arrived in Puerto Rico, it's pretty clear he wants this adventure to be over.
"Him not being an alarmist has caused us to be more alarmed, because of the tone in his text message today," said Gail Skeens. Skeens said she normally has a good read on Stelling, her colleague. 10 days ago, Stelling decided to take his girlfriend down to Puerto Rico, for her birthday.
"Of course, we knew at that point that Maria was heading that direction, and we were kinda like, 'are you sure you want to go?'" Skeens recounted. "He goes 'oh, it'll be a great adventure.'"
The trip has reportedly become an adventure for survival, in the midst of horrible destruction. At first, the texts from Stelling that came through were still upbeat.
"He was saying they were being well taken care of, and that the locals were great here, and that we have some curfews, and he was teasing that they didn't have any alcohol," said Skeens.
As the days wore on, however, Americans have learned more and more of the chaos and confusion on the Caribbean island.
"Today, the messages were more concerning," said Skeens. "He was not his normal self, and expressed concern for his safety."
Scarce food, water, and power has led to a breakdown of society. Now, the tone of conversation on the text line has gone from grim to fearful.
"He said people are living on the streets or sleeping in their cars," said Skeens. "He said they might have enough food and water for one or two days, and that's it at this point, and the biggest concern he had now was the looting and muggings that were happening while they're waiting in line for food."
With flights getting pushed back everyday, there's no way off the island, and that means there's no telling when Stelling will get back home.
"If there's anybody you know across the United States or in Arizona that has the ability to bring people back whatever way, by boat or by plane...I would love to see our military over there, trying to get at least to get Americans back. I know there's a lot of needs over there," said Skeens.