FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) — A grandmother and three small children are now staying in Fayetteville with family after escaping from Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico.

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Many communities on the island are still waiting for power and clean water.

“Everything got destroyed. It was a concrete house and a concrete roof,” said Fayetteville resident Alex Polanco.

His mother and wife’s two nieces are now living in Fayetteville after surviving Hurricane Maria’s destruction. Once Maria hit, Polanco went days without talking to his family as feelings of helplessness set in.

“I was eating something and I felt bad because I was like I wonder if they’re eating,” Polanco said.

Once he got in touch with them, he purchased plane tickets to bring the family to North Carolina. They only brought the clothes on their backs and a few personal items. A total of eight people now live in his three-bedroom home.

“It’s nothing because at least they are safe,” Polanco said.

He still has family in Puerto Rico: two aunts and many cousins are living through the devastation.

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