CHICAGO (CBS) — The devastation from Hurricane Irma is part of a one-two punch being felt by Chicago’s Latino community as Puerto Rico faces a blackout and water shortage.
In Mexico, the death toll reached 58 as rescue workers reached some of the remote mountain villages impacted by Thursday’s powerful earthquake.
CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talked to people from the Back of the Yards neighborhood, several of which have ties to both Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Jesse Iniguez, for example, runs a coffee shop that gets its beans from a family in Chiapas, Mexico. He said he was eager to hear if the Guzman’s were safe.
“The family, they didn’t know what to do. They were running back and forth like, ‘do we go outside, do we stay inside?’ They said they just waited inside and left it up to God,” Iniguez said of the Guzman family.
The Guzman family said now their biggest fears are falling rocks and mudslides.
In Humboldt Park, fears linger for other Chicago Latinos with family in Puerto Rico, who are dealing with the wake of Hurricane Irma.
“It was horrible. I just passed the night without sleep,” said Carmen Cuevas, who’s relatives experienced the storm pass through.
Her loved ones are safe, but she said she is still nervous.
In fact, members of the Puerto Rican Agenda, an organization that seeks to influence policy for the advancement of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, says they feel the bulk of the hurricane coverage has focused on Florida, and that there is very little mention of Puerto Rico.
“We also know that more than 63 percent of the island is in a blackout,” said Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who’s with the organization.
Authorities said it could be 4-6 months before power is restored.
“We are standing in solidarity with our island and we are going to coordinate efforts because they are not forgotten,” Zayas said.
The Puerto Rican Agenda is convening an emergency task force Saturday morning to formulate a plan on how to deploy resources and make sure the money goes directly to the intended people.