Puerto Rican community partnering with local organizations to he - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Puerto Rican community partnering with local organizations to help hurricane victims

The devastation in Puerto Rico will take months to clean up. (Source: CNN) The devastation in Puerto Rico will take months to clean up. (Source: CNN)
Ricardo Santiago (Source: WAVE 3 News) Ricardo Santiago (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Mark Hogg is the founder of WaterStep. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Mark Hogg is the founder of WaterStep. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Members of the Puerto Rican community came together to pray and brainstorm. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Members of the Puerto Rican community came together to pray and brainstorm. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Millions of people in Puerto Rico could face up to six months without electricity.

Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory. The monster storm has moved on but intense flooding and communication to people off the island is now difficult.

The Puerto Rican community in Louisville is rallying together with organizations like WaterStep to help with basic needs.

"In Puerto Rico you either fly in or you go by boat," Ricardo Santiago said. "It takes a lot of time so we need to step it up. We need to help now."

Ricardo Santiago has family in Puerto Rico. His nephew tells him flooding is severe just outside the capital.

"He cannot move," Santiago said. "He is safe and dry but he cannot move."

Santiago has not heard from all his family members on the island.

"Anxieties are at a very high level," Santiago said.

Santiago and others in the local Puerto Rican community recently came together for a prayer service.

The group gave emotional support and brainstormed ideas to help.

"In tragedy and in disasters like this often time there is only one place we can go and that's to God," Mark Hogg said.

Hogg is the founder of WaterStep. He prayed with the community. Hogg says their equipment could help clean water for the months ahead.

"That's four to six months before your pump turns on to move your water where it needs to be," Hogg said.

Hogg says he has seen bugs, bacteria, and pathogens become issues in flooded areas around the world. If WaterStep heads to Puerto Rico it would be the second time they have provided relief in the United States.

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"They are going to send a plane in about a week and a half," Hogg said. "We want our water equipment on that plane."

WaterStep is waiting for logistics before deciding if and what type of equipment would head to the island. In the meantime, Santiago is organizing other ways to help.

"The first order of business is getting stuff over there, how we are going to do it we don't know but we will try," Santiago said.

Santiago and his son have compiled a list of much-needed items, and reputable organizations, for those wanting to donate to the hurricane victims. See it below or tap here.

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