Hurricane Maria: Puerto Ricans in San Antonio watch and wait

San Antonio resident Iris Ornelas fears what hurricane Maria could mean for her home, friends, and family.

SAN ANTONIO - Hurricane Maria has already turned deadly in the Caribbean. Now it's on course for Puerto Rico. If Maria holds its current strength, it will be the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in 85 years.

San Antonio resident Iris Ornelas has lived in San Antonio for more than 20 years. She owns a Puerto Rican restaurant in San Antonio but says that her first home will always be on the island.

“I'm praying to God that nothing is going to happen,” Ornelas said. “I remember as a child looking out the window and seeing water rushing and washers and dryers and animals just going down the street."

She's also worried about her home in Salinas, which she boarded weeks ago in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

The governor of Puerto Rico went house to house on Tuesday, trying to convey the seriousness of the storm.

"We need to get the people out of flood-prone areas," he said. "We need to get the people out of the vulnerable housing that will essentially just fly off."

He expects the entire island to lose power and be in a blackout for days.

The island has opened up shelters which can hold hundreds of thousands of people. However, Iris's family and many other islanders plan to ride out the storm in their homes.

“I think they feel safer staying with their belongings and taking care of their homes,” she said.

 

President Donald Trump has already signed emergency declarations for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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