Columbus sisters torn apart from family in Puerto Rico

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The devastation in Puerto Rico is impacting families right here in Columbus.

Cielo Colon and her sister Antonia haven’t heard from more than 40 friends and family members since Hurricane Maria ripped through the island.

An island ravaged by the hurricane leaves thousands stranded and no way for loved ones to reach their families.

“The island doesn’t even look like we remember it,” Cielo said.

Their loved ones are now in Ponce, Puerto Rico without power.

“To know that we can’t talk to them or that we can’t communicate with them is very stressful,” Antonia said. “We haven’t been able to sleep or anything.”

She and Cielo have no way to get to the U.S. territory since the earliest available flights are next Tuesday. Getting help is in the hands of the Red Cross.

“A human being losing everything they own is worthy of our sacrifice and our help,” West Central Georgia Red Cross Executive Director Adelaide Kirk said.

The Red Cross has sent supplies and more than 70 specially trained volunteers but they will not be sending untrained civilians.

Not being able to reach their family over the phone or in person is just one of the frustrations Cielo expressed to News 3.

“We’re more concerned with why an NFL team is kneeling on a football field,” she said. “Nobody has yet to say anything about the devastation of Puerto Rico and it is a U.S. territory . I do feel like there could be more done for the island.”

“For the Red Cross it’s just like having another state,” Kirk said. “It might as well be a 51st state for us because we treat it exactly the same.”

A once picturesque island is now a nightmare for those trapped and the Colon sisters have one message for family they may not see or hear from anytime soon.

“We love you,” Cielo said. “We are praying and we are going to try to get to you.  We love you all. We won’t give up hope.”

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