ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida is stepping in to help after Hurricane Fiona brought flooding and mudslides to Puerto Rico.
More than 1.4 million Puerto Ricans have lost power due to the storm.
Central Florida is home to a large Puerto Rican population, and many are worried about family members still living on the island.
All flights leaving the island were cancelled on Sunday.
On Monday afternoon, the first flight from Puerto Rico to our area arrived at Orlando International Airport.
Channel 9 spoke with one resident who said when Fiona swept through, he went running for safety.
Alexander Feliciano said the ordeal started around 2 p.m. on Saturday when the rain came through the roof of his childhood home in Yaoco.
Fiona swept through Puerto Rico with 85-mile-per-hour winds, ripping the house apart.
“We’re cleaning up from all the flooding and stuff that came in, then all of the sudden – whoosh, and my wife was like ‘Ahhh!’” Feliciano said.
After that, he and his wife ran next door to his aunt’s home to take cover.
“It was just incredible. I didn’t expect it. Our home has been here 40 years,” Feliciano said. “It withstood Maria.”
Fiona made landfall almost five years to the day of Hurricane Maria.
Feliciano told Channel 9 that despite what had happened, he’s hopeful his family and his people are going to overcome this, just like they have every other tragedy in the past.
“We’re Puerto Ricans. We’re resilient, and this doesn’t take us down. We will get up and do what we need to do and have our country come up,” Feliciano said.
A team of Hispanic community groups and pastors are also coming together to help the island by connecting with those on the island.
The team is still trying to figure out exactly what the need is for some, but Boricuas de Corazón is collecting medical supplies to send there.
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