Dunkirk Mayor Makes Contact With Mother In Puerto Rico

DUNKIRK — Sometimes countless prayers, a little bit of luck and the kindness of others can make miracles happen. For Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and his brothers, that’s what a phone call from their mother, Rosalia, felt like Friday morning.

“Our friends in Buffalo saw the story in the Buffalo News and they had contact with someone a town over from my mom. They called them and were able to have their family check on my mom and actually brought her back to their house to call us,” Rosas said.

After nearly two weeks without communication, Willie said he felt relieved to know his mother is safe.

“I’m so relieved to know she has her medications and is safe,” he said. “My brothers and I feel so relieved just knowing she’s alive. I have heard so many stories of people in the same situation and I hope they are able to contact their loved ones as well very soon.”

However, the brothers, Willie, Hector and Robert, also got an update on the conditions in Puerto Rico.

“When I got the call from my mom, I started tearing up,” Hector, Dunkirk’s festivals and special events coordinator, said. “She told me she’s OK, but she has no electricity, her food is spoiled and she doesn’t have water. Knowing she’s OK lifts a burden, but she still can’t refrigerate any food, get a hold of anyone and it takes four hours in line to get gas.”

Hector is hoping to go to Puerto Rico on Sunday, but doesn’t have confirmation he will be given approval to make the trip.

Like 90 percent of Puerto Rico’s population, Rosalia is without electricity and phone service. Reports say around 44 percent are without water and aid is slow to come due first to the nature of Puerto Rico being an island, detached from the mainland, and now due to a lack of truck drivers to move aid from San Juan’s harbor to the rest of the island.

Anyone locally wishing to help can bring water, toiletries or canned food to the city’s relief headquarters at the warehouse on the corner of Washington Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. Monetary donations are also being accepted through a special Dunkirk Local Development Corp. account at the drop off, the city clerk’s office and the development office in the Stearns building.

The Rosases thank all those who have supported them during this time of uncertainty.

“I thank God she’s OK, but I also want to thank everyone who called or sent an email or stopped me to wish us well or send out their prayers for us. Their support has meant a lot,” Rosas added.