Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Two sisters here in the Midlands are anxiously waiting and trying to contact their family who lives Puerto Rico and were impacted by Hurricane Maria.
Tanya Rodriguez-Hodges and Victoria Rodriguez have been looking for ways to contact their family after they say this is the worst storm that Puerto Rico has ever seen.
"This is the worst hurricane and devastation that they've ever seen. I think the combination of Irma hitting and two weeks later Maria hitting was all that the island could take," said Tanya Rodriguez-Hodges.
The two sisters have many family members in Puerto Rico and have been able to get in contact with some, they've had a lot of trouble reaching aunts and uncles because of a lot of the phone lines being down on the island.
"It's been devastating with us being here and not knowing much information about our family and friends in Puerto Rico. No communication," said Victoria Rodriguez.
Both sisters are hopeful they'll be able to get in contact with their family with the power of social media but they know there's a long road ahead for those in Puerto Rico.
"I'm not even sure hearing from them is going to ease any of that anxiety because once we hear from them, and I'm hopeful and faithful that we will hear from them, that the anxiety is going to kick in of now what do we do for our family members and how quickly can we get aid to them and across the entire island," explained Tanya Rodriguez-Hodges.
The two believe now is the time to focus on helping those affected on the island like the nation did for those affected in Texas by Hurricane Harvey and those in Florida from Hurricane Irma.
"I mean they're human beings. They're suffering. There's no electricity, there's nothing to eat, and there's no water. Peoples' lives have been devastated," said Victoria Rodriguez.
With the Midlands experiencing a disaster a short time ago, Tanya Rodriguez-Hodges says she wants people to remember the struggle people went through then and pay it forward.
"We need to have empathy for those that our here and suffering knowing what's happening on the island of Puerto Rico. Secondly remember what it was like during the flood of 2015. The power loss and the infrastructure damage. Now multiply that by a hundred. Think about what we can do to help," said Tanya Rodriguez-Hodges.
Both sisters have also put their family's name in the Red Cross database in the hopes they can find them.