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Puerto Rico Preparing For Hurricane Irma

Puerto Ricans in central Florida are watching Irma as she nears the island. FEMA has more than 500 officials there including a medical team and a search and rescue team. And the Governor of Puerto Rico has asked President Donald Trump to declare a state of emergency.

Jimmy Torres is president of the local Puerto Rican Action Initiative. His mother, wife and kids live on the island but not in a flood prone zone.

“Where my family lives, there’s probably no flooding happening but we are getting scared of the winds destroying our properties,” said Torres.

The Puerto Rican government said it has more than 450 shelters available with a capacity for more than 63,000 people.

Torres said his main concern is how long the recovery process will take in an already economic-strapped island.

“Where people are going to work when you might have Puerto Rico without electricity, big sectors of the island, for many weeks? Hopefully something can move this hurricane but it looks like it’s not going to happen,” said Torres.

Torres said Puerto Ricans are already comparing Irma to Hurricane Hugo, which devastated the island in 1989. Latino groups plan to meet Thursday to coordinate the local relief response.


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Crystal Chavez

About Crystal Chavez

All Things Considered Host and Reporter

Crystal Chavez comes to WMFE from Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, Texas. She served as the Morning Edition host in the Alamo City for the past three years. Crystal also produced a weekly radio program called Fronteras, providing in-depth reporting on U.S.-Mexico border issues, immigration and changing ... Read Full Bio »

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