MANTECA (CBS13) – A Manteca family is waiting and praying, worried about their family in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
It’s been three days since they’ve spoken to their parents, who just retired and built a home directly in the path of Hurricane Maria.
“It’s heart-wrenching to watch the news images and know that our parents and loved ones are there,” said Necy Lopez.
Originally from Jayuya, Puerto Rico, Norberto and Inez Rosario spent 40 years raising their family in Manteca. Their children, Lopez, Anelisse Ramirez, and Norberto Rosario Rivera, Jr. still live in Northern California, concerned about their parents after the storm.
“They say there’s flooding, there’s mudslides,” Ramirez said.
Jayuya is in the center of the island, the same place where the eye of the storm passed over just days earlier. The only images the family has seen are a few aerials showing widespread devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“There’s only a couple ways in or out, and all those ways are blocked,” Ramirez said.
The Rosarios planned to retire back on the island and started building their dream home in Jayuya two years ago. Construction just finished up in August.
“They left on Sunday!” Lopez explained.
And with power and cell service down, it’s been nearly 3 days since the siblings last heard from mom and dad.
“It was really windy and really rainy, but they were okay and ready for the storm,” Ramirez said.
The challenge for the family in California is trying to keep their kids calm, as they wait with no news. Now, they’re all wearing red to show their solidarity for loved ones they haven’t talked to in days.
“Grandma and Grandpa will be okay,” Rivera said. “They’re always asking for them.”
“Even if it was a two-second call saying ‘we’re okay’ and we had no more connection, we’d be fine with that,” Ramirez said.
Rivera is trying to stay positive for the family, hoping the phone will ring with mom and dad on the other end.
“We have to stay together and be strong,” Rivera said. “We shouldn’t worry. Our parents are okay!”