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Hurricane Maria pours pain on Dunkirk

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 18:03:47-04

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas faces a new level of stress as he tries to reach his 79-year-old mother, who lives in Puerto Rico. 

He hasn’t heard from her since the day Hurricane Maria hit last week. 

“I have my two brothers to lean on. We praying together and making sure we are doing everything we can on our end to make contact with her,” said Rosas. 

The mayor said he’s remaining strong for his city. Sixty percent of Dunkirk’s population is Hispanic. About a third are descendants of Puerto Rico. As you can imagine, this storm is hitting close to home for many people. 

Maria Rios has a son and two grandsons stuck inside their home on the island. She said her son asked her to send him money for things like food and water. Because of all the devastating damage, she has no way to get it to him. 

Another Dunkirk woman hasn’t heard from her dad or aunt. There are reports that the part of the island they live on was destroyed. Several people I spoke with said food and help isn’t reaching those who need it the most. In fact people in Dunkirk are pleading that President Trump send more federal help as was done for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

“Those people on that island are United States citizens and in my opinion we need to help them out. We can do better than what we are doing and we could do more,” said Mayor Rosas. 

Dunkirk’s City Clerk has taken the initiative after talking with the mayor to open up a donations drop-off site for Hurricane Maria in Dunkirk. 

It’s located at the corner of Washington Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. The collection site is open daily from 3-7pm. The city is asking for water, canned  goods, and toiletries.