Family Reunion: Woman lost her father during Irma, now in Houston taking refuge

Lack of electricity along with fuel and water shortages has families scrambling to escape the island of Puerto Rico. Some have landed here in Houston. Sonia Gutierrez watched an emotional reunion at Bush Intercontinental Airport.

HOUSTON – The lack of electricity, water and fuel forced families off the island of Puerto Rico. Some have ended up in Houston to meet their loved ones.

Tuesday night, Cristina Chinea picked her mother up from Bush Intercontinental Airport. It was the first time they had seen each other since Hurricane Maria hit the island. Because of their experience during Hurricane Irma, this encounter was a blessing to both.

“I have mixed feelings,” said Jinnett Rosado said in Spanish. “Sad because I leave my beloved island but happy because I’m with my daughter but this has not been easy, it’s been very, very hard.”

Not only did they live through a hurricane in Humacao, Puerto Rico once, but twice. The first time, during Irma, Rosado lost her father.

With tears in her eyes, Rosado explained what happened to her dad in Spanish. “He fell down the stairs” she said. “They couldn’t reach 911 and it took them two and a half hours to get an ambulance. They had to go to three different hospitals because none had electricity or the tests he needed.”

“In my family there will always be that doubt,” said Chinea. “What would’ve happened if my grandfather would’ve made it back in time? Would he not have been swollen enough to where they could’ve operated him.”

So when her husband was climbing trees and roofs during Maria to help their neighbors, the anxiety of losing him too is one of the things that brought them back.

“I realized I no longer have two little girls, I have two women who care for us,” said Rosado when she was talking about how grateful she is for her daughter doing everything she could to get them home safely.

When they left the island, Rosado says there was still no running water and very limited amount of fuel.

Last they spoke to a friend in the island, it looks like help is barely touching the area where they lived.

She says most of the aid is going to the main city of Puerto Rico, San Juan. Areas like Humacao are barely getting any attention she said.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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