'Bad memories of Maria': Hurricane Fiona brings catastrophic flooding to powerless Puerto Rico

People in Puerto Rico are facing massive flooding, and strong winds as Hurricane Fiona wreaks havoc on the island.

Videos from Puerto Rico show catastrophic flooding and strong winds as people who are living there are facing life-threatening rainfall and dangerous mudslides. The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Fiona could bring up to 30 inches of rain to the eastern and southern parts of the island. 

The entire island was without power as Hurricane Fiona whipped through Puerto Rico. Emmanuel Santiago, who lives in San Juan, tells FOX 35 Orlando he hasn't been able to get in touch with his family in the southern part of the island that's been hit the hardest. 

"I have no communication with them, so I don’t know how they are passing this hurricane," said Santiago. "That really brought out bad memories of Maria. It’s like symptoms from PTSD that you don’t know is there until you experience something like this again."

Santiago feels the island wasn't prepared for another hurricane especially with their fragile power grid. 

"It’s really similar to Maria right now, so it just brings back all the bad memories. You would expect to not see this again after what happened, but we’re seeing the same situation. With the same issues," said Santiago.

After Hurricane Maria in 2017, more than 120,000 people sought refuge in Florida, many in the Orlando area. SOS Orlando is now preparing for thousands of people who may come to Orlando, as they want to be ready to provide housing, food, and help them into the workforce.

"The level of fear, the level of devastation, the level of scarcity and the debilitating infrastructure on the island hasn’t improved, really, since Maria, so this is just going to push people who may have been on the fence about leaving the island may make the determination to do so" said Samí Haiman-Marrero, Founder SOS Orlando.

Community leader, Father Jose Rodriquez has been working to coordinate with Central Florida officials, lawmakers, and organizations this weekend to get ready to provide aid to those on the island and those who seek refuge here.

"Being prepared and knowing people are coming is probably the most important things we can do right now to help the community brace itself for a wave of migration," said Father Jose. 

President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico Sunday, which allows FEMA to coordinate disaster relief, provide assistance and protect property. State Representative Anna Eskamani says this aid is vital.

"Having the national declaration means we can unlock every available resource to help those on the island and to ensure there will be resources on the ground, generators," said Rep. Anna Eskamani D-Orlando. "We need to make sure we have every tool at our disposal."