Viviana Romero moved to America from Puerto Rico six years ago. She says they're used to hurricanes there, but now she's trying to stay positive as she's lost contact with her family in a Category 5 hurricane.
Hurricane Irma approached the island of Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon, bringing strong winds and heavy rains.
Romero has loved ones across the island.
“I have been calling my family like crazy and it has been like, I didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep,” she said.
Her family, in the center of the island, began experiencing strong winds around 10 a.m. She lost contact with them at 5:30, Wednesday evening.
Before moving to Chagrin Falls with her family, Viviana worked as a journalist in Puerto Rico. She called her friend Stephanie Gomez, a newspaper editor for El Vocero Puerto Rico, holed up in the National Weather Service Headquarters on the island.
“We cannot be outside. We have seen outside through cameras they have in the parking lot, because the wind was too strong,” said Gomez, talking with us on speaker phone.
Viviana still works as a journalist locally with Noticias Cleveland. She wonders how Irma will add to the economic crisis already hitting Puerto Rico.
“If this hits so bad, Puerto Rico, that could affect everyone, the tourists, people that go down there and cancel their trips and everything,” said Romero.
Viviana expected to lose contact with her family through this powerful storm, but she does hope to hear from them soon. She’s keeping busy with her husband and three children here, as she hopes and prays for her family in Puerto Rico.