Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico hits home for Goose Creek family


Like many others in the U.S., Hector Burgos-Rodriguez and his family sit down to watch the evening news.

“See look at that, all those other trees over there,” Burgos-Rodriguez said to his wife and daughter Tuesday.

For the last two weeks, their native home of Puerto Rico has dominated headlines.

“My mother and daughter, grandsons, as well as my sister and other relatives are there,” Hector says.

He and his family are feeling the impacts from Hurricane Maria all the way in Goose Creek.

“It was like five days without being able to talk to my family in Puerto Rico," Hector says. "As you can imagine, (that) caused a lot of anxiety in the house, because I didn't know when I would get information, if they were alive.”

Burgos-Rodriguez said his family's homes were among the few that survived the powerful hurricane, but memories of the storm have created a different type of burden.

“The experience that they went through, with all that wind going through their windows and that sound, it's indescribable really,” Hector says.

His elderly mother, lives in a towered building. It's operating on a generator, making it almost impossible for her to leave her apartment.

“My mother lives in a building, which is 16 floors, so she's doesn’t go down twice a day, she probably only does it once cause she's 89 now.” Burgos-Rodriguez said.

The bulk of his family is in San Juan. Hector said he'll visit soon, but relatives have tried to prepare him for the true extent of the destruction.

“They've been telling me, ‘Hey, you don't want to come here really,’ there's a lot of need here. But that's home, that's where my family is, I need to give them a hand,” Hector says.

Burgos-Rodriguez says he'll fly home in a few weeks, and try to bring supplies when he goes. That may be a difficult task, as by air or by boat are the only ways to get supplies to the island.

“It's not impossible, it's just a matter of knocking on the right doors,” Hector says.

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