Pastors unite for Hurricane Maria relief as Cleveland man suffers tragedy

OAKWOOD VILLAGE, Ohio - "Water came rushing in, it just took him, he didn't have a chance."

Harold Cancel of Cleveland says his father was in the process of surveying the damage in his neighborhood in Puerto Rico, when he drowned in the floodwaters caused by Hurricane Maria.

Harold Cancel Rosa was just 55-years old.

Cancel said, "We was scared of Maria, the Hurricane Maria and it was never in our thoughts that it was gonna affect our family the way it did."

Cancel shared his personal tragedy at Mt. Zion Church in Oakwood Village. He was there to hear from the United Pastors in Mission of Cleveland.

The group announced a partnership with Cleveland Latino pastors and other churches to open their doors for prayer and for monetary relief.

The 3.2 million Americans on the island are dealing with washed out roads, damaged infrastructure, no water and no power.

Pastor Max Rodas of Nueva Luz Church in Cleveland says, "This is a time for the church to be the church. This is a time for us to pray and ask God to help us.  The situation in Puerto Rico is a little bit more difficult than others because you cannot have access to the island."

Due to the lack of access to deliver emergency aid, the pastors are planning a rally and benefit concert to be held at Mount Zion, with money to be given to organizations like the Red Cross.

The religious leaders are also urging Congress to take immediate action.

Pastor, Dr. Larry Macon, UMP President said, "It's going to take 30 to 60 days to get power on in certain places. Right now, 80 percent of the island is not working."

Reverend C. Jay Matthews of Mt. Sinai Ministries said, "At this moment in the life of America, the true test of patriotism will be manifested in how we respond to Texas, how we respond to Florida, how we respond to Puerto Rico."

A benefit concert will be held at Mount Zion church on October 5th and a rally is being planned for Public Square in downtown Cleveland this Saturday at 1 p.m.

A massive effort here at home to help a region dealing with a full-blown humanitarian crisis.