SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Recovery continues, but very slowly in Puerto Rico, weeks after most of the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Now, Puerto Ricans around Sacramento are coming together to help the recovery effort.

One woman raised $13,000 over the last week to help her hometown get back on its feet.

“I promise I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

It’s a race against time for Carmen Garcia-Gomez, as she desperately searches for a way to get to Peñuelas—her hometown in Puerto Rico.

“I just need to get on a plane, and more importantly have a guarantee to come back,” Gomez said.

Gomez says most of the island still has no electricity and no water.
Photos taken by her family members show a sliver of the aftermath.

“There’s total devastation; there’s not enough to go around,” Gomez added.

Gomez spent the last week raising money to help get her hometown back on its feet.

“They need water, any and all kinds of canned food, baby items, diapers food and wipes, bug repellent, batteries…” Gomez listed off.

So far, she’s raised $13,000. Gomez is using the money she raised to order supplies from Costco in Puerto Rico, to send to Peñuelas.

“We’re gonna hit targeted neighborhoods to distribute and go door to door,” Gomez said.

Gomez even reached out to the mayor who she says will help deliver the supplies.

Now, Gomez just has to find a way to get to the island to jumpstart the recovery.

“It’s really important I go back and give back so that we can rebuild Puerto Rico and Peñuelas,” said Gomez, holding back tears.

The earliest flight to Puerto Rico from Sacramento isn’t until mid to late October.


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