National News

Bixby radio host cannot reach loved ones in Puerto Rico; organizes supply drive for storm victims

Posted September 26, 2017 5:24 p.m. EDT

— A radio host still cannot reach his loved ones in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria took out power and communications to the entire island.

Lino Roldan, a retired Army veteran, currently lives with his wife and son in Bixby, but many of his family members are still in Puerto Rico, where he grew up.

"We've been calling every day, any type of communication," Roldan said. "No answer."

He, however, said he got word that his sister-in-law lost her house because of flooding in the San Juan area. He has not heard from his two grandchildren who live on the island's west side, where large trees are blocking the roads into their communities.

"I know they're okay because we've already been told they're okay," Roldan said, "but we want to hear from them."

Roldan hosts his own online radio show called Brisa Tropical from home, and often plays salsa music to listeners all across the world. Recently, though, some of them have reached out to him for help.

He said a woman from Cuba contacted him when she could not communicate with her son, a preacher, in Puerto Rico.

"We sent information," Roldan said. "We put it out to everyone: if you can go to this church and find out if this father is okay. Last night, I got a message he is okay and to tell his mother in Cuba that he's okay."

While it made him happy to reconnect this family, Roldan holds onto hope that he'll soon be able to do the same with his own loved ones.

"It will prevail," he said. "Puerto Rico will stand up and rebuild again."

Roldan is working with other Puerto Rican nonprofit groups in the U.S. to collect supplies to send to the storm victims. He plans to hold a supply drive Friday and Saturday at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 111th Street in Jenks. He encourages people to bring donations for those truly in need.