‘It’s heartbreaking;’ Area man worries for family in Puerto Rico after hurricane devastates island

BEAVERCREEK — Hurricane Fiona has left the island of Puerto Rico devastated and most of its residents without power and water.

A Beavercreek man spent most of his childhood on the island, and worries for his family who is still there.

Johnny Lugo of Beavercreek was supposed to be in Puerto Rico for a high school reunion, until Hurricane Fiona spoiled those plans.

“I booked those flights two months ago. You never know a hurricane would have hit a few days prior,” Lugo said.

Lugo grew up in Puerto Rico.

>> RELATED: Hurricane Fiona updates: Category 3 storm moves north after wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico

“My mom’s from Mayagüez and my dad’s from a town called Yauco,” he said.

He said his mom now lives on a mountain in a town called Guanica. She hasn’t had to worry about the flooding, however there was a landslide.

Luckily, Lugo said his mother’s house is fine after the storm.

The island however is in choas, he said.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico nearly five years to the day after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory.

“They’re still recovering from Maria. This ain’t something that you can recover from one day to the other, and now they get hit with another hurricane? It’s sad,” Lugo said.

>> RELATED: Hurricane Fiona: Photos, videos capture destruction in Puerto Rico

He said its difficult to see the place he called home for so many years destroyed.

“It’s heartbreaking. I mean seeing where you grew up being devastated by a hurricane. I’m sure that most of my family over there they are having hardship now,” he said.

Unlike after Maria, there is cell service on some parts of the island. This has allowed Lugo to stay in touch with his mother.

He said hearing from his mother is providing some comfort in the choas.

He also feels good knowing her neighbors are helping since he can’t be there.

He described Puerto Ricans as resilient people and said he is confident they will get through this.

“Yes we are. Very resilient. We survived Maria and we also survived all the earthquakes throughout 2020 and 2021 and we’re still moving on.”