Hudson Valley residents try to contact relatives in Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:

Hurricane Maria dropped in strength to Category 2 Wednesday, but not before slamming into the island nation of Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm.

Many Hudson Valley residents say they are desperately trying to contact their relatives there. The storm knocked out power and lines of communication and caused widespread flooding.

"I'm on the phone since four in the morning," says Janice DeLeon, a Yonkers mother whose own mother and daughter are in the coastal city of Ponce. "I try every five minutes."

Click here for photos of the storm damage.

Awilda Melendez, also of Yonkers, says her relatives took shelter on high ground in a concrete home.

"Trying to get in touch, (calls) don't go through," she says. "They went to the mountains."

Maria struck two weeks after Hurricane Irma, another major storm, blasted Puerto Rico -- a United States territory with a struggling economy.

Francisco Antigua, another Yonkers resident with ties to Puerto Rico, says his sister on the island told him floodwater crashed through the windows of her house.

"Right now, I can't work," he says. "I'm worried about my sister."

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