Columbia, SC (WLTX) – One Midlands man is worried about his mother in Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the island Wednesday. The storm has taken lives, damaged homes and left people without power. It was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years.

“They don't get storms like this,” Edwin Sanchez explained.

Sanchez lives in Lugoff but was born in Puerto Rico. He said it will always be home especially since his 71-year-old mother, Ruth is still there.

“I called her today, wasn't able to speak with her and I haven't received any texts from her today so we are a little concerned, you know we haven't heard from her,” Sanchez said.

He said he tried to get his mom to leave before the hurricane but she wanted to stay.

“It's nerve-wracking,” he said. “She was fine when I spoke with her yesterday. The storm really damaged San Juan, a lot of flooding, a lot of damage, no power the shelter's she in does have a generator. She says she's safe.”

Sanchez's mother has not been able to leave the shelter because they do not want folks in the street.

“Just hoping that she was safe," Sanchez explained. "Being so far away there’s nothing you can do, you know, it's out of your control, just fearing for her safety. I knew she was in a safe location but something like this is something you can't prepare for."

Sanchez said he is going to try to get his mother back to the Midlands as soon as he can.

“Just because it doesn’t happen in your hometown, we’re still all people, you know? We all need to get together and you know rally behind each other and help each other out,” he said.

The recovery is expected to take months.

“The one little saying that we have is ‘mi orgullo,’ which is just my pride and you know you always have that. No matter what the island's gone through, you’re always going to have that island pride,” Sanchez beamed.

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