A family's desperate attempt to save loved ones in Puerto Rico

Getting the Pauwels to Puerto Rico

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Natalie Pauwels spent her entire day Wednesday trying to find a flight for she and four others to Puerto Rico.

"I'm wondering if there is anyway shape or form that you can get a few people on a flight." Pauwels said to multiple airline representatives. The answer on the other line was not promising. "I can do a connecting flight on Thursday the 5th of October, that's the soonest I have anything available." a JetBlue representative said.

Three hours later and Pauwels was still hitting dead ends. "I need to call every other airline I can possibly, I'm terrified we aren't going to get there," Pauwels said. "I don't know whats going to happen if we don't."

Pauwels' mother Lilllian and her two sisters are desperate to get to the island. They have all been keeping an eye on the damage and communication with loved ones has been limited, until now.

"My brother called me today when I got here and he said where is all this help? The people are not receiving it," Lillian Pauwels said. "He told me to get on a plane, he was cursing and upset and said you need to save us now."

Pictures from where the family is in Puerto Rico shows utter chaos. Buildings and roads have been destroyed, tree limbs are everywhere. There's no power and resources are extremely limited. "Not being able to to that is the hardest thing for me right now." Pauwels said. 

Natalie was finally able to book a flight for she and her sister Ana late Wednesday afternoon. The pair will fly out Thursday morning and they were lucky enough to get a flight back to the states. The plan is to fill a number of suitcases with basic necessities, like water and baby wipes, to give to the family while they wait for more resources to come available.

"Getting stuck there to me is, that's an issue that I don't really think about," Pauwels said. "Because if that means I can bring something to my family, bring them fresh water, it's worth it."

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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