By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Getting supplies to people who need it in Puerto Rico continues to be a challenge a week after Maria slammed the island. Gas, food and water are scarce. The island’s electrical grid is still down. Many people still can’t reach loved ones.

A Minnesotan from Puerto Rico just heard from family Wednesday, while getting his first look at his home.

An old neighbor sent Pedro Fonseca pictures of the home he built in his native Puerto Rico. It’s where he started his family. The hurricane left the home in shambles.

puerto rico family home Hurricane Leaves Minnesota Mans Family Home Destroyed In Puerto Rico

(credit: Fonseca Family)

“We have to be realistic if you live in the Carribean and you have a wood house this can happen,” Fonseca said.

The married father of two moved to Minnesota after hurricane Hugo devastated the island in ’89. It’s hard for him to now see how Mother Nature unleashed her fury there again, taking down the electrical grid. He just heard from his sister for the first time Wednesday.

“She’s in shock, she didn’t say much. I was able to get a hold of her over text,” Fonseca said.

He remains concerned about his 85-year-old mother. She suffers from dementia and lives in a nursing home that no one has been able to reach.

“This hurricane came and poof. You don’t know anything and still a week later you don’t know anything,” Fonseca said.

puerto rico family home 3 Hurricane Leaves Minnesota Mans Family Home Destroyed In Puerto Rico

(credit: Fonseca Family)

He last visited her in August and believes in his heart he will be in touch with her again. This latest storm has taught him to live in the moment.

“We just got to sit down and take it and have patience and say, ‘OK, well let’s pray and let’s hope for the best,'” Fonseca said.

Fonseca plays the trumpet as part of an orchestra. He, along with other Puerto Ricans living in Minnesota, plan to hold a benefit concert on Oct. 27. The state estimates about 13,000 Puerto Ricans live here.

The St. Paul Foundation is matching all donations up to $250 through Oct. 19.

This weekend, the Minnesota Twins wives are collecting nonperishable food, bottled water and cash donations outside the Target Field gates before the games.


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