• Plane loaded with supplies, volunteers head from Concord to Puerto Rico

    By: Greg Suskin


    CONCORD, N.C. - A local community is coming together to help the millions of victims of Hurricane Maria.

    Several people at the Concord airport came together after spending days collecting supplies for Puerto Rico that was ravaged by the hurricane.

    They loaded supplied into a plane on Wednesday.

    Edward Marquez has family in a small community in Puerto Rico and he doesn't know where they are.

    "My mother's one of 10, and we're still looking for my aunt," Marquez said.

    Debbie Guerrero made contact with some of her relatives and is hopeful about the rest of them.

    "Still have not heard from an entire family that is located in the town of Ibonito, which to my understanding is that they're not able to get in there because of the debris," she said.

    Hurricanes devastated the U.S. territory leaving almost 4 million people with no water, power, medicine or in many cases, a home.

    The Puerto Rican cultural society of Charlotte has been trying to find a way to get anything they could on a plane, and to the people to get there.

    Marquez is disappointed in the government's response to the tragedy.

    "It's reminiscent of (Hurricane) Katrina for me,” Maquez said. “I see the same things where it's taking too long to respond."

    So, they're responding hoping to get another plane that they can send as fast as possible.

    The couple that owns the plane, Linda and Pat Velasco, flew to Puerto Rico to rescue family members, saw the devastation and decided to fly back to help others.

    To donate emergency supplies such as water, batteries, diapers and hygiene products, take them to Forest Hill United Methodist Church at 50 Elm Ave. northeast in Concord.

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