HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Luis Santiago is physically in Houston, but his heart is in Puerto Rico.
"It's devastated," says Santiago. "Everything, it's like a war zone."
Santiago is a sailor who lives in Puerto Rico, a home he hasn't seen since the hurricane.
"Well, they sent a picture," explains Santiago. "Everything outside my house not OK. Inside my house, thank God it's OK."
Santiago is one of the merchant seamen gathering supplies at the union hall on the east side of Houston to ship to the island. He says it is difficult to comprehend the level of damage as only ten percent of Puerto Ricans have electricity. There are roughly 45,000 Puerto Ricans in the Houston area. Mayor Sylvester Turner visited the relief drive.
“We still have tremendous needs, but as we have tremendous needs, we can still help and share some of what we have with the people of Puerto Rico,” says Mayor Turner.
One of those Puerto Ricans is former Houston Astros outfielder Jose Cruz.
"Most bridges in Puerto Rico have collapsed. so the people who live in the mountains, they cannot go out for water. they cannot go out for food," says Cruz, who currently serves as a community outreach executive for the Astros.
Earlier on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted, "We cannot keep FEMA, the military & the first responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever."
Despite that tweet. the House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion aid package for the battered island. It's not there yet and things are pretty desperate.
"We need more help," says Santiago. "Thank you for everything but we need more help."