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Southern Indiana family in Puerto Rico left with no electricity, limited resources

Flood waters sweep the streets, homes destroyed and many left without food, water and electricity. There right now? A local southern Indiana family.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One southern Indiana family found themselves in the direct path of Hurricane Fiona after they headed to Puerto Rico for a 30th birthday celebration.

What was supposed to be a fun birthday celebration is now ruined as power grids fail, people flock for safety and water floods the streets.

Hundreds of thousands are starting to regain power according to local utility officials, but damage is still widespread across Puerto Rico.

"As soon as the plane landed everyone's phone started going off saying basically, the tropical storm that was headed this way, turned into a hurricane one," said Brittney Blackmon of New Albany, Indiana.

Her husband Samuel said chaos happened quickly.

"You could barely stand up the way the wind was coming and then, like I said, our alerts went off. And then they were just saying take shelter," he said.

He says as the rain came down, it felt like there was no time wasted for floodwaters to overwhelm the area.

"I don't know how the water system is and the sewage here in Puerto Rico. But it's like, instantly, everything started flooding," Samuel said.

Saturday night, the couple noticed water beginning to come into the Airbnb, power was completely shut off and windows in their unit began to break; they relied on the power from their rental car.

"When it gets dark we go in with, you know, fully charged devices and then when, when we wake up in the morning, we just recharge them again," Brittney said.

Credit: Brittney Blackmon

The couple is staying an hour away from San Juan. They said they were able to find a Walmart, but there was almost nothing available.

"We haven't seen anybody handing out food and handing out water. It's like everybody has to like, basically fend for themselves," she said. "If you don't have money or transportation, or you can't get anything."

Samuel said they've heard from many in the area that this is their harsh reality sometimes.

"People were just saying that they just wish the system here was different, they wish, you know, they have electricity and storms and, and like they said, they used to things like this," Samuel said.

Both said it's important they listen and help where they can, saying this is a reminder to take nothing for granted.

The couple and their children are expected to catch their American Airlines flight out of San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday in the afternoon. They're hoping for a safe and clear hour-long drive to the airport.

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