Local woman with family in Puerto Rico talks about struggles there


NEW BERN, Craven County - Long lines for gasoline, a shortage of food and water and barely much electricity to light up the night. Isa Gratacos Padros' family and many others in Puerto Rico have experienced that and more.

"Because it is so hot, it almost feels like 110 degrees, so they wake up and go and make lines," Gratacos Padros said.

It's the new reality for her family and so many others trying to recover from Hurricane Maria's devastation two weeks ago. Gratacos Padros said she recently spoke with her father, who gave her an update about what they are dealing with.

"There is no drinking water, no gas, no electricity, people are dying in hospitals because there is no gas to power the generators," Gratacos Padros said. "The roads have collapsed so there is no passage so it's just a horrible situation."

She said Puerto Rico is trying to overcome the struggles, using social media. Many like her check Facebook groups to connect with people and help those who need it.

"Thanks to that, we have been able to find families and friends," Gratacos Padros said. "If they were able to see that on Facebook, they would go to that neighbor and say 'your family is looking for you, we need to tell them that you are OK'."

Viral videos like one where an elderly man who couldn't reach his daughter in Orlando to tell her he was OK finally made contact are being shared by many.

It'll take months for normalcy to return to the island and Gratacos Padros said her father is anxious to open his business again.

"He's got 18 employees and he is worried about them and their families and how they are going to eat," Gratacos Padros said.