Scared. Concerned. Hunkering-down.
People on the Island of Puerto Rico FaceTimed with WUSA9 to show us what was happening Wednesday afternoon. The island is such financial dire-straits already. Many people are just as afraid as of Hurricane Irma as they are of the financial assistance they could need if the storm causes serious damage.
“Besides covering what happened sadly in Texas with Hurricane Harvey, remember that Puerto Ricans are also American citizens and we also need help,” said Flores Vazquez from his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He FaceTimed with WUSA 9 Wednesday at around 6:30 p.m. to show us what was going on in his area.
“The thing that scares me the most is that they’re telling us that the hard things are yet to come, so I don’t know what to expect. This is historic for us because we haven't had any Category 5 hurricanes. The last time I think was in 1939, so most of us in Puerto Rico that are living right now haven’t experienced a hurricane of this magnitude, so I don’t know what to expect. I know it’s a lot of wind and a lot of rain and it’s going to get worse,” said Flores Vazquez.
Peurto Ricans are expecting to experience the brunt of Hurricane Irma late Wednesday into Thursday morning. It already thrashed through the U.S. Virgin Islands and several other countries in the Caribbean.
Reporter Stephanie Ramirez has family just outside of the San Juan area. They connected her to Flores Vazquez and Bianca Pagan, a friend who was holed-up in her Carolina apartment.
“I’m just worried about the safety of my home so we can be protected from this storm,” said Pagan in her high-rise apartment building. She taped up her window just in-case a branch, or a tree comes crashing down.
Pagan also said, “Right now we have areas that are very poor. People who have small houses. They are going into schools set-up for them to be protected from the storm."
“There isn’t any money to fix the utilities so the infrastructure is really weak and it’s in such state that even before the rain started – we get any winds or anything – most of the island will blackout,” Flores Vazquez tells WUSA 9.
Video of a transformer exploding several times and photos of trees blocking highways are on Twitter and Facebook. That’s one of the reasons why Flores Vazques said he didn’t feel safe enough to leave the San Juan area.
People are praying Hurricane Irma doesn’t touch land. Many remember 1998’s, Hurricane George. In addition to devastation, towns across Puerto Rico were reportedly out of power for at least a month or more.