Jackson couple gets help from home while in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
(Source: Hank Cavagnaro/KFVS)
(Source: Gary Flores)
(Source: Gary Flores)

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - UPDATE: The Flores' are back home safe and sound in Jackson, Mo. after an 18-day trip which more than doubled their original plans.

They got back into St. Louis late Tuesday night and family was the first thing on their mind. Even Wednesday afternoon family was still around and they said they missed them the most.

"Family was the biggest," said Tabatha Flores. "I couldn't hug them enough."

The couple saw the devastation from the natural disaster that plagued the island of Puerto Rico and specifically, it's capital city. Now that they're back the thing they remember the most isn't those images, but rather the support that the people gave each other.

"The people there made such an impression on me," said Gary Flores. "Just the type of people they are, I mean there's a lot of stories about what happens down there how everything works down there but in San Juan, the people who we encountered while we were there... when I left it actually felt like I was leaving family, they treated us that well."

The idea of that happening on a trip might be the reason to be scared of the island, but it's not for them. They actually plan to head back down and show support for the people who treated them so well.

"We will go back to Puerto Rico, we will go back and let the people know the impact they had on us," said Tabatha. "It will be a long time, definitely not during hurricane season, we've learned our lesson."

ORIGINAL STORY:  The original trip was only supposed to last one week. But after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico they have had an extended trip for all the wrong reasons.

It has been eleven days and counting and one Jackson, Missouri couple is still stuck in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria

A few people back home are helping them out.

Tabatha Flores works at Long John Silver's in Cape Girardeau, she and her husband Gary are getting some financial help from the owners.

Working in fast food can be hectic especially if your general manager is stuck in Puerto Rico after the hurricane.

Tabatha Flores has been on her vacation an extra four days now and each day it's costing them more and more money.

Jim Sprick is one of the owners of the Long John Silver's in Cape Girardeau. He has been a big help for the Flores'.

"She needs a hotel... she needs food... she needs everything... she called us and we're took care of her hotel room we're gonna take care of her air flight... we're taking care of everything we possibly can to make sure she get's back to the states safely," Sprick said.

The reason the Flores' were in the Caribbean during this time was because of her job.

"She won a national contest for long john silvers and she won an all inclusive paid trip," someone said.

So with the store running as busy as ever, Sprick said they're doing what any other company should do.

"This is exactly what any company should do if there employees are stranded wherever it is in this country and they need to get back," he said.

Sprick also said he feels like it's paying it forward and now Tabatha will help others out when she can.

That's also coming true already, while down there she's helping others clean up from all the hurricane damage.

The couple has been trying to fly out of San Juan but due to the many cancellations, they are stranded like many others on the island. They have been lucky enough to stay in their resort which rations water and has a generator which is keeping them safe. But they are still trying to get back home.

"We're at the mercy of whoever's in charge," said Gary Flores. "I don't own the airline, I have no say, I have no control. We're here till we get a ride."

"It's very heart-wrenching," added Tabatha Flores. "You have this idea, you know you're going home tomorrow, and then they say you're canceled. Now we're to the point where, well, we're here so we're going to do something to help the locals that have been here for us so much, we just want to give back."

They have sent videos back of the devastation and have been trying to help out as much as possible. On Wednesday the couple will join the manager of the Hotel and be out in the community helping those who need it. They're going to be helping as much as they can until they can leave.

They noticed that even after the first night the storms left, the cleanup had started immediately and hasn't stopped since.

"They're very resilient people," said Gary. "I mean they are. The day after, once everything was lifted and we were able to at least get out of the building during the day, they were already cleaning up."

The two have been told multiple flights that they might be getting on next. They are hoping for a flight on the September 28 back to the states.

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