By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s local Puerto Rican community is coming together to provide relief to family and friends on the hurricane-battered island.

Hurricane Maria’s wrath may be felt for years to come in Puerto Rico as Philadelphians with family on the devastated island scramble to check on loved one’s and seek out ways to help.

“Puerto Rico is ruined. The island nation that we knew no longer exists. One hundred percent of the folks have no electricity and running water. It’s going to take the next three or four days for even first responders to get out into the streets,” said Philadelphia City Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez.

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Puerto Ricans were confronted with the first clear view of the devastation wrought by Maria – splintered homes, crumbled houses, uprooted trees and massive flooding.

With no power, and limited outside communication, also a closed airport, Philadelphians hoping to help say monetary donations are the best option at this point.

Quinones-Sanchez says they will be using the city’s Puerto Rican Day Parade activities on Sunday as a way to raise money for the storm-ravaged island.

“We would continue our Puerto Rican and Hispanic activities and gear them toward our relief efforts,” said Quinones-Sanchez.

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As many as 5,000 to 10,000 people are expected to participate in the weekend activities.

Donations are just the beginning of relief efforts coming from this area. The councilwoman has still not been in touch with many of her own family members still there.

Local organizations are looking to establish a GoFundMe page. They’re also telling people who want to donate to go to the Elconcilio.net website and follow the instructions to contribute to hurricane relief efforts.

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