"But it's so hard waiting", she said. Homes are without roofs as broken trees splintered houses and covered streets.
Maria's fierce core was centered about 55 miles northeast of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Some roads were blocked by downed foliage as teams of firefighters and rescue officials wielded chain saws to cut through the debris. It is again a Category 3 hurricane.
He has yet to declare the island a disaster area but has made federal emergency aid available.
The latest weather models keep Maria out to sea.
Maria was expected to approach the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas late Thursday and early Friday.
Hurricane Maria ripped through Dominica as a category four storm late on Monday, damaging hundreds of homes. The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance and the National Museum of Mexican Art are teaming up to raise funds to help with recovery from both natural disasters. About 400,000 people have left the commonwealth since 2008. Donation information is on their Twitter page.
There are other ways to extend a lifeline. "Together we're going to get up".
Roughly half of independents surveyed believe climate change plays a major role in the storms, at 48 percent.
There were reports of looting and authorities said 10 people had been arrested. She said: "We are not stable enough to cope with even a mild storm". "We really don't know what is going on because there's no communication right now. But power restoration across the entire island will take months".
Meanwhile, in the US Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth Mapp announced a 24-hour curfew Thursday. And like most, Santiago has been unable to contact her relatives in the storm's wake. The government expects that number to increase, as people typically return home after the storm - only to realize that the destruction is too great and that they need to remain in shelter. "Have you heard anything?'" she said.
Speakers urged community members to donate money instead of food and clothing. "Damage is severe and widespread". Now those patients are experiencing the unwelcome déjà vu of a second major storm in as many weeks.
"He's not a texter", she said, explaining that she had to rely on a landline to speak to him. "Puerto Rico, in terms of the infrastructure, will not be the same. We have been playing our part but the extent of the resources required to put in the mitigation systems is beyond us". "I've seen more telephone poles down across driveways", Gene Brin, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer on St. Thomas, told NPR.
"So far, we would have buried in excess of 15 people", Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told a television network of Antigua and Barbuda, a neighbouring country. Even buildings that had generators will run out of fuel shortly. Let's be generous to those who were less fortunate this time.
"There is a lot of people here affected", Vega said.