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Puerto Rican woman stranded in Omaha collecting items for hurricane victims

Posted at 12:12 AM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 01:12:17-04

A family reunion in Omaha kept 69-year-old Pamela Siddiq away from her home in San Juan, Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria.

“I actually actually consider myself very fortunate,” she said. Siddiq now has to stay until at least the end of December, maybe later, as power isn't expected to be restored on the island for another six months.

"I'm afraid that if I do get down there, I may not come back,” she said. "I don't know anything about my apartment. I'm on the highest floor. I don't know anything about my car."

Now, thousands of miles away from her adopted home of eight years, Siddiq says she feels helpless not knowing how her friends who live in her building are doing.

"Because I live in a senior-citizen building, there were some people who were not as physically able as I am. And I wonder if they're okay,” she said. “Are they in a shelter? Because they say the higher up you are the more dangerous it is to the building and so you wonder, where did they go?"

Siddiq will be living with her brother for a couple of months until she can get back home. She said she's been trying to have friends go check on her home, but communication to the island is limited.

She said all she can do is now collect items to send back to Puerto Rico.

"I'm sending diapers and I'm sending water," she said.

And she’s hoping others in Omaha send help, too.

"It does take an effort by everybody to help everybody," she said.