Couple returns to Houston after surviving Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Houston couple escapes devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and speak about the life-threatening situation on the island.

HOUSTON - A couple who escaped Puerto Rico are calling the situation, "life threatening"  in the days after Maria slammed into the island.

Brian Rodriguez, and his wife, Jennifer Hernandez, along with their 3-month-old daughter have been fighting to get back to the states for the last six days. The family touched down in Houston Tuesday afternoon, tired and worried, yet hopeful and safe.

“It’s life threatening to go outside of your house," said Brian Rodriguez.“There’s no gas, if you have gas, there’s no signal lights. There’s no police.”

The two described their hometown in Puerto Rico as war zones. Both Rodriguez and Hernandez left Houston just days after Hurricane Harvey brought catastrophic flooding to South Texas. The two thought they were leave the devastation behind, only to be met in Caribbean by Hurricane Maria.

Rodriguez says the conditions in the San Juan airport are unimaginable. He says there is no air, no food, only emergency power and frustrated people trying to get to the mainland.

United Airlines was able to book the couple on a flight from San Juan to Chicago, then to Houston. Hernandez complimented the hardworking airline employees for getting them home, but fighting to get on a flight was a two-day ordeal.

“There’s no list that you can do to say, hey I am number 50 for the next flight. It’s first come first serve," Brian Rodriguez said.

For people stuck on the island, the reality is the recovery will take months. Power is spotty, relief is slow and in some spots the line to get gas stretches to the next town.

This couple is happy to be home in Houston, but their thoughts remain with the family they left behind.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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