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Local families worry over loved ones stuck in the Caribbean during hurricane devastation

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean has local families worried about their loved ones, who they said are trapped in the middle of the devastation.

"I'm seeing firsthand a lot of the devastation that has happened over there," said Stephanie Ahrens of Edwardsville.

Ahrens' husband, Eric, was on a work assignment in St. Croix when Hurricane Maria passed through.

"I lost all connection with him, so we were a little nervous," Ahrens said. "The worst things run though your mind."

Ahrens said her husband is safe for the moment and has been able to email his wife whenever he can.

But she added that even he doesn't know when he will be able to come home.

"So many people are Facebooking me and saying, 'Why doesn't he just leave?'" Ahrens said.

"Right now there is no way anyone can get anything to the island and nobody can get off the island, because the airport is shut down."

In Levittown, Puerto Rico, English teacher Anna Ritter of Godfrey is staying with a friend since water filled her second floor apartment.

Ritter's mother, Patty Ritter, said her daughter has lived in Levittown for 12 years, where dozens of families were rescued from flooding.

The concerned mother said she keeps her cellphone on her at all times, just in case her daughter calls.

"The devastation is absolute and they just can't believe it," she said.

Ritter said she's thankful that Anna is safe, but added her daughter is having trouble getting a hold of her friends, who are somewhere on the island.

"Everybody is trying to find their people and the communication is down," she said. "And they are just trying to go to different shelters to try and find their people."

Both families said that while there isn't much that they can do to help their loved ones, they hope that their faith will get them through

"There is no safer place to be than the center of the will of God," said Ritter.

"We've been praying about it every night before bed that everybody is safe and that everything works out," said Ahrens.

In the meantime, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina's wife, Wanda Molina, has launched a GoFundMe page to help with the recovery effort.

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