South Floridians awaited word from family members in Puerto Rico Wednesday after the U.S. territory was slammed by Hurricane Maria, which knocked out power across the entire island and unleashed heavy flooding.
"I'm very anxious, I want to talk to her," said Joshua Fontanez, who was thinking of his mother in Puerto Rico. The last time he spoke with her was 11 p.m. Tuesday. "I don't talk with my family, my grandfather too. I don't have communication and I'm very sad for that."
The island was assaulted by one of the strongest storms they've ever seen, Hurricane Maria. The storm made landfall in the southeast area of the island and then moved northwest towards the capital, San Juan.
Rafael Acosta, the owner of the Puerto Rican restaurant Isla del Encanto in Miami, also has family on the island and is thinking about them right now. The lunch crowd Wednesday was quiet and worried, just waiting to see what will be Maria's aftermath.
"Physically were here but mentally we're there," Acosta said. "There's no communication, there's nothing, there's only what you watch on YouTube or live stream and what messages get out so we have no knowledge of what's going on."
On Friday, the restaurant is holding a fundraiser and collecting supplies to send to Puerto Rico to help in the relief effort.
Another hub for the relief effort in Puerto Rico is the Ana G. Mendez University campus in Miami Lakes. The private university is based in Puerto Rico.
"Our doors are open to receive donations for our brothers in Puerto Rico," campus director Ramon Garcia said Wednesday.
Come Saturday morning, the student lounge on campus will be organized, filled with supplies. About 100 volunteers are already on board.