Northeast Ohio residents worry for Puerto Rican relatives as Hurricane Maria strikes

More fear for NE Ohioans who have relatives in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico suffered a glancing blow from Irma just days ago. but still much of the island is without power and supplies have been slow to arrive.  Now they are directly in the path of Hurricane Maria, which may be the most destructive storm in Puerto Rican history. 

Viviana Colon left her family in Puerto Rico when she moved to Cleveland seven years ago. She stays in constant touch and helps link Cleveland's Latino community to the U.S. territory island with her Facebook page 'Noticias Cleveland.' 

"Everyone is very anxious for what's gonna come," Viviana told WKYC Channel 3's Monica Robins. 

Family sent photos of damage left by Irma. Supplies are limited, generators and water are valued like gold. 

"There's a lot of people who still don't have yet power and water from Irma," Viviana adds. She contacted her cousin, Denisse Rodriguez in San Juan, to see how things are going on Tuesday afternoon. 

"We are starting to feel how the temperature's dropping so we know that the conditions will start to worsen from here," Denisse told Viviana and Monica via Skype. 

She showed us how she's stocking up on water and ice. People in San Juan are filling ziplock bags with water and hiking up their freezer temperature so it turns to ice by the time Maria hits. 

Those with cement homes and metal barricades will shelter indoors. Those with wood houses or along with shore are urged to go to a shelter, already safe haven for some 3,500 Irma evacuees from other Caribbean islands. 

Puerto Rico hasn't seen a category four or five storm since 1932, but remember the population has doubled since then and infrastructure is far more advanced. And while they certainly have hurricane experience, no one is sure what to expect with Maria, but they're preparing for the worst. 

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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