Puerto Rican man stranded in VA, can't get home to his family

Updated: Sep. 26, 2017 at 11:09 PM EDT
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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A man from Puerto Rico is stuck in Central Virginia. Hurricane Maria left the island in shambles and he's desperate to get home to his family.

"I'm just trying to get home -- any way possible," said Virgilio Vidro.

He can't get through to his wife and two kids who are in Puerto Rico.  He tries to call on his cell phone again and gets a busy signal.

"That's what you get, no communication at all," said Vidro.

He hadn't talked to them since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.  When we met for this interview, he didn't even know if they were alive. When asked what he would safe to his wife if he could talk to her, Vidro broke down in tears.

"It's very hard. I'm not there for them. I don't know what they need right now.  That's my family, that's all I got. I don't got [sic] nothing else," said Vidro.

He comes to Louisa County a few times a year to do contract work at the North Anna Nuclear plant.  He couldn't fly back when he planned to because of Irma -- then Maria.  Now, days after the storm, he says his commercial flights keep getting canceled hours before takeoff.

At this point, Vidro is frustrated and wonders, "What is gonna happen? I'm gonna have to wait one more week here and then at the end, they're gonna tell me they canceled the flight. You gotta wait two more days. How long am I gonna be here?  It's not that I don't like it here. It's just my family needs me back home," said Vidro.

He reached out to 12 On Your Side. He doesn't want a handout. He just wants to get home. I called our friends at the Red Cross and told them his story.  Three people from Central Virginia went to Puerto Rico to start reuniting families who need to connect with people elsewhere.  Since I interviewed him, Vidro made contact with one of his sons and learned his family is safe and the Red Cross is helping him find a way to get back home.

"I wanna be there to help them out. I don't wanna be here with my hands crossed and see what happens. I wanna be there. I wanna help them out," he said.

The Red Cross says it'll make sure he gets home as soon as possible and promises to update us along the way.

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