After Hurricane Maria caused destruction in Puerto Rico, Eric Flores couldn't get a hold of his mom. He was among those who flew out of Miami to rescue their relatives from the storm-ravaged island.
Flores and his mom, Giselle Ribueras, were supposed to travel out of San Juan Sunday, but their flight was delayed several times. They finally made it to Miami International Airport Thursday.
While they waited for their luggage, Ribueras thought about the chaos they left behind. Hurricane Maria knocked out power and water. There were fuel, gas and water shortages.
"It's depressing to leave your island and the place that you live and see it destroyed and devastated as it is," Ribueras said.
Flories said The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport's areas for JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta were full of people trying to get away from the overwhelming devastation. The building didn't have any air conditioning after the storm destroyed the entire electricity grid.
"It's really hot inside and a lot of people are trying to get out," Flores said.
Their American Airlines flight was on a Boeing 777 plane, which could have from 209 to 310 seats. It was a full flight. AA usually uses them on long-haul flights, but they were using the extra space to deliver cargo supplies.
Meanwhile at MIA, Nilka Rivera was juggling her kids. She left her husband back in Puerto Rico and brought her children to South Florida to stay with family. She said the situation was deteriorating and there were long lines to get gas.
At least 16 people were killed when the storm chewed up homes, farms, businesses and roads Sept. 20. Many organizations were struggling to deliver supplies. Rivera said a supermarket shopper in Puerto Rico could stand in line for 7 to 8 hours only to find a few options inside. There were reports of looting.
"It's difficult," Rivera said. "You don't want to leave your loved ones back home, but its pretty bad."
Local 10 News' Andrea Torres contributed to this report.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.