Local families head to Haiti to look for loved ones

January 14, 2010 9:29:23 AM PST
There are so many families from the tri-state area desperately seeking information about their relatives. Now some are making the extreme decision to fly to the region to search for themselves.

"It's the anxiety of not knowing what is happening," Dr. Jean Claude Compas said.

Dr. Compas is among a group of Haitians flying to Santo Domingo on their way to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. He wants to reach his father and then help the wounded.

The powerful earthquake leveled his father's home, and he has not been heard from since. The lack of communication with the island has been frustrating.

Louis Rousseau is also searching for his mother, father and brothers.

"It's really hard for me. For now, I don't know if they're still alive or not," said Rousseau.

Meanwhile, in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, tiny churches were filled with prayers for the wounded in Haiti and for those stateside who are filled with uncertainty.

On Nostrand Avenue, there was a symbolic release of balloons on Wednesday night, sending prayers to the devastated Carribean island.

Candles were also lit outside the Haitian Consulate. Family members say it is difficult to comprehend the widespread destruction and are trying to remain hopeful.

"You want to find out, but do you really want to find out? You still have hope not knowing if they're still alive," Begonia Joseph said.

The consulate has been flooded with calls every since the quake hit.

Dr. Compas is one of 200 Haitian-American doctors and engineers who will travel to Haiti in the next week or so to help.