Clevelanders demand quicker disaster response in Puerto Rico

Posted at 8:05 AM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 08:08:38-04

There is growing pressure to pick up the pace when it comes to getting help to the people of Puerto Rico.

A Cleveland woman, whose family is reeling from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria, is joining the fight for her loved ones.

With her homeland in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, Rosa Torres Waldo is scared and stunned.


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"We need help. People do not have water, food, shelter. This is inconceivable," said Torres Waldo.

The Puerto Rico native cannot believe so little has happened since Hurricane Maria mutilated the island.

"Very bad situation and we need help soon," said Torres Waldo.

To try and speed up the process, Waldo is leading what she calls a Puerto Rico chain of reaction.

"I know the United States can do it," said Waldo.

The Cleveland attorney is rallying the Puerto Rican community in Northeast Ohio to contact members of Congress by phone and e-mail.

"To make pressure that FEMA move fast," said Waldo.

Frank Colon is on board with the grassroots effort.

"At this particular moment, we don't have enough. We need more," said Colon.

Colon tells News 5 celebrities with connections to Puerto Rico like Marc Anthony, J Lo and Ricky Martin are responding better to the disaster than President Trump.

Colon has a message for the Commander-in-Chief.

"You got to go. Let somebody else run the country," said Colon.

As for why the federal government's response appears to be lagging behind other disasters, Torres Waldo tells News 5 there is a political undertone. She points to the people of Puerto Rico.

"They cannot vote. And because they cannot vote, they don't have any political pressure," said Torres Waldo.

There may be no political pressure, but at the end of the day, we are talking about Americans begging for help from fellow Americans.

"Not only Americans helping Americans, but humans helping another human being in distress," said Torres Waldo.

President Trump plans on visiting Puerto Rico next week, but Clevelanders we spoke with tell me it will be too little too late.