Cuomo heads to Puerto Rico to survey damage

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on a relief mission to Puerto Rico with goods and supplies to help the devastated Island get back on its feet.

The governor went to Puerto Rico to see the devastation firsthand. He pledged New York's support.

“In New York, we are family with the Puerto Rican community and with family you don't have to ask for help,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo’s trip comes as Long Islanders with relatives there anxiously await word from their loved ones. Jose Gonzalez, of Ronkonkoma, hasn't spoken to his parents since Hurricane Maria pummeled the island.

"I don't sleep, I don't sleep for the past three days,” he says. With power knocked out to the entire island, he has no choice but to wait to hear from his family. In the meantime, he's started collecting items for hurricane relief.

At first, Gonzalez and his staff started out just collecting water. Now they're collecting anything that is nonperishable and can help the people of Puerto Rico.

Charlene Rodriguez hasn't been able to reach her grandparents either. She last spoke with her grandmother Tuesday night.

"She has a strong belief in God, she was like, 'Just have faith, God is going to protect me. Don't worry Charlene I'm going to be fine,’" says Rodriguez.

A video taken from her grandmother's porch surfaced on Facebook. Her grandmother can be heard praying in the background as the roof of a house across the street comes off. Rodriguez says she's constantly on the internet searching for any sign of her grandparents.

Both Gonzalez and Rodriguez are clinging to hope that their loved ones are OK.

"We are a strong people," says Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was hosting a prayer vigil and collecting donations Friday night for Maria victims. It was set to begin at 8 p.m. at NY Auto Detailing in Bay Shore.

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