An American Airlines flight spearheaded a relief effort Tuesday in the U.S. Virgin Islands following Hurricane Maria.
Local 10 News reporter Amy Viteri flew on the airline’s first commercial flight to St. Croix since Hurricane Maria hit.
The crew brought with them critical supplies and they also brought evacuees back to South Florida, many with medical conditions and limited access to care.
Water, generators and food were unloaded at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport for American Airline workers in St. Croix.
The same plane evacuated 150 people at no cost, who were selected by tourism officials on the island.
"For us, it's something we want to be there (and) we want to help the folks that are really hurting at this time," Alfredo Gonzalez said.
Many of the evacuees are dealing with health issues and were stuck on the island with few resources. Some have lost their homes and need medical attention.
"We have been in a shelter. We lost everything. We lost new clothes and food," one evacuee, Ivanna Hynson, said.
Hynson suffered a recent stroke and said there aren't enough doctors on the island. Power is also limited and the airport itself is running on generators as families wait to fly out.
Many evacuees are also college students stuck after the storm.
"It was pretty scary. A lot of us were shaking. We didn't know what to expect," one student, Alyssa Martinez, said.
Martinez said food has been limited since Hurricane Maria and the damage left behind is extensive.
"It was pretty frightening to walk outside, to see the campus. It was beautiful -- that's why I chose this place," she said.
Some don't know when they'll see home again. Hynson wants people to know any help is appreciated, and much needed.
"Housing, food, clothes -- because we lost everything," she said.
Henry E. Rohlsen Airport is just one of several airports throughout the Caribbean affected by recent hurricanes.
American Airlines employees said they expect to resume operations on the island again on Thursday.