Former Cyclone basketball star stranded in Puerto Rico - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Former Cyclone basketball star stranded in Puerto Rico

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The struggle continues for many families who are trying to reach loved ones in Puerto Rico following the landfall of Hurricane Maria. One family in Iowa is anxiously working to bring their daughter home. 

Carma and Tony Poppens have been trying to reach their daughter Chelsea who is stranded in Puerto Rico.

Chelsea, a former Iowa State basketball player, moved to Puerto Rico earlier this month to pursue professional basketball. Now, she's weathering out Hurricane Maria. 

Chelsea shares cell service is spotty, as power lines are down, and a majority of power is out across the island. 

Her parents reach her on occasion, whenever she can travel to get wifi. Chelsea was supposed to catch a flight out of Puerto Rico on Saturday, but Wednesday morning she got word-the flight would be canceled. 

"Carma's been on the computer pretty much nonstop trying to find flights. And then they get canceled or disappear while you're clicking on them," said Tony Poppens. "And her Saturday flight that she was supposed to get out is now canceled," said Carma Poppens. 

Chelsea says fuel lines have traffic backed up for miles. There are long lines for gas stations, without any gas and most people don't have water. Poppens shares many don't even have the fuel to power their generators. 

KWWL was with Chelsea's parents when they were able to reach her by phone. 

"We hear that there might be a shortage of drinking water here soon because of the fuel issue," said Poppens.  "I mean it's super hot at night. There's people here, who I mean for everybody their flights are canceled and there's people just sitting outside Sheraton just waiting for any means of communication to get ahold of people back home."

Poppens, like many on the island, have one mission. 

"I just want to make it back to the states anywhere-just get me out," said Poppens. 

Chelsea's parents want to see their daughter safe and sound. 

"Just want you home even if it's only in Florida," said Carma Poppens. "Love you."

Her parents share her coach was able to book her a flight out of Puerto Rico and to Florida for Sunday.
Poppens is one of just two players in the Cyclones history to score a thousand points and grab a thousand rebounds. She has played professionally in the United States, Europe, Australia and Puerto Rico.

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