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2022-09-23 22:18:36 By : Ms. Tracy Ling

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Hurricane Fiona is leaving a trail of destruction in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hundreds of thousands of people are without power and water — as the storm moves north. That includes relatives of some Utah families extremely worried about how they’re surviving flooding and widespread damage.

They say that their friends and family are without electricity and water, and the wait to hear back from them was nerve-wracking.

“All that pounding rain, it fell so fast, flooding so fast,” said Ivette López, recounting what her family has been telling her. “It’s a total anxiety and panic. It happened already, it happened before. Is it going to happen again?” she said.

López lives in Salt Lake City and says she had trouble sleeping at night waiting to hear back from her family in Puerto Rico.

“They immediately lost power and then immediately we couldn’t hear for a while, so we’re like holding our breath,” she said.

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It was just last night when she heard back from her cousin — her last family member who needed to be accounted for — who lives in Mayaguez, which was hit hard by the hurricane. López said that it was a relief to learn that she was okay.

All this is happening while Hurricane Maria, which caused destruction five years ago, is still on many minds, as well as earthquakes from 2020.

“It’s like it never ends for our homeland. If it isn’t one thing, it is another,” said López.

Liliana Rodriguez from Carolina, Puerto Rico moved to Utah after Hurricane Maria and remembers how much it flooded the lands.

“It’s very emotional for me and very frustrating time in my life,” she said.

She shared how many people in Puerto Rico were still recovering from it when Hurricane Fiona hit, some still having tarps on their roofs.

“They are emotionally a little more strong than five years ago with Maria, but at the same time I want to say they are tired,” she said.

As of now, Hurricane Fiona has left many without water and electricity, including those in López’ and Rodriguez’ families. Lopez shared that the people of Puerto Rico are resilient and coming together to make it through this difficult time.

“Puerto Ricans cannot be kept down. We rise up and we will continue to do that,” she said.

Rodriquez is working to provide help and gather donations for Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit the Facebook group Puerto Rico en Utah. People can also donate at the GoFundMe here. She shared that there will be an event this Sunday with the dance group Bomba Marilé where people can bring donations. It will be at the Black Cultural Center at the University of Utah from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Some of the donation items she says they are looking for are:

Over-the-counter medications: • Joint pain (Tylenol, Bengay, Arnica cream, Turmeric, Glucosamine, Biofreeze, medical tape) • Anti-inflammatories (Ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin) • Aspirin • Vitamins (Prenatal, for Elderly, Iron, Calcium, Thiamine, Folic Acid, Vit D, B12, B complex, Vitamin E, Children’s Vitamins) • Antifungal cream or powder (Monistat, Lotrimin, clotrimazole) • Allergy Medication (Zyrtec, Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra) • Antibacterial (Neosporin, triple antibiotic cream, hand sanitizer) • Gastrointestinal medications (Pepto Bismol, omeprazole, Senna, Colace, Tums, Metamucil) • Medications for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (Dayquil, Nyquil, Mucinex, Robitussin, Emergen-C, Cough drops) • Skin treatment (Hydrocortisone cream, Vaseline, baby wipes, Eucerin cream, Chapstick, sun block, hand sanitizer, Mosquito repellant)

• Water filtration (Brita, iodine tablets, Chlorine tablets, UV wand, pumping water filter) • School supplies (notebooks, permanent markers, Backpacks, insulated lunch bags) • Personal Hygiene products (sanitary napkins, tampons, soap, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, lice comb, adult diapers, baby diapers, deodorant) • Joint Support (heating pad, reusable ice packs, tens unit, joint braces, Ace bandages, medical tape) • Medical supplies (medical gloves, medical masks, medical scissors, gauze, glucose meters, glucose fingers stick strips, Medical tape, alcohol wipes, bandaids, tweezers) • Nutrition support (lunch cooler for medication, glucose tablets, Raisins, Protein bars, Nuts, Ensure, Fruit strips, Zip lock bags, Applesauce pouches, baby formula, Crackers) • Equipment for the elements (flashlight with batteries, headlamps with batteries, glow stick, blankets, sunglasses, rain pants, rain poncho, mosquito nets, artificial tears, pillows, air mattresses, solar-powered lanterns) • Emergency preparedness (AAA batteries, AA batteries, whistles, glow sticks, duct tape, zip ties, sleeping bags, tarps, tents, work gloves, solar-powered lamps, solar-powered chargers, solar-powered radios, first aid kits)

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