Quinnipiac students, with ties to Puerto Rico, watching Maria closely

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HAMDEN --  What's unfolding in Puerto Rico, as a result of Hurricane Maria, is hitting home for a couple of Quinnipiac University students.

For one of the students, there's an especially close bond with the island.

"I was born and raised in Puerto Rico," said Shelma Morales of New Britain, a senior biomedical sciences major.

Mudslides and flooding are big concern for the students.

"Half of my family is in the southeast part of it and that's very hilly, mountains all over," said Mia Martinez of North Haven, a junior physical therapy major. "The other part of my family is in a valley."

Communication with family and friends living in Puerto Rico has been nearly impossible.

"I tried to speak to my grandmother last night and I spoke to her for about 15 minutes and then the signals went off," said Morales.

The students said, as they've been plugged in to social media, for most of the day, they have felt somewhat helpless.

"I've been on Facebook all day looking at videos that people posted and my hometown has been hit very hard," said Morales. "There has been flooding everywhere."

She said one of her cousins living in Puerto Rico was updating Facebook until mid-morning Wednesday.

"She was talking about how everything that she saw out the window was just scary like the magnitude of the winds and the flooding," said Morales.

"I just keep on the news, live streaming of the storm the entire time," said Martinez.

"All you can do is just wait for a phone call or a text or a Facebook update. There's really not much else you could do," said Morales.

But, the multicultural council at Quinnipiac is already working with these students on relief efforts.

"We were actually thinking of getting some kind of food drive, maybe clothing drive for donations going for the Quinnipiac community and hoping that it will expand further," said Martinez.