Yonkers man loses family members to Maria; countywide collection begins

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YONKERS -

A Yonkers man is waiting to hear about the fate of his family in Puerto Rico after learning that his aunt and uncle died during Hurricane Maria.

Javier Vincens says his aunt and uncle died after their roof collapsed during the Category 4 storm.

"It's just hard you know," says Vincens, who got the news from his cousin via Facebook. "I haven't heard anything since."

The government says at least 16 people have died in the United States commonwealth as a result of the storm.

The White House is insisting all necessary supplies and manpower are being provided, but San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz disagrees.

Local officials are doing their best to try to help the recovery process.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino launched "Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico" on Friday. Astorino says the countywide donation drive to help families is personal because he grew up going to Puerto Rico.

"I want to make sure that, as a county, we do something for our fellow citizens and the 44,000 Puerto Ricans who live in Westchester," says Astorino.

Millions on the island remain without power or access to water.

The county is accepting supplies such as food and diapers. They are also accepting cash donations. Collection bins for the hurricane relief will be located at several county office buildings including White Plains, Yonkers and Peekskill.

Vincens says he is confident Puerto Rico will rebuild and prosper.

"It's going to take a while, but we'll get there," he says.

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