UW-Milwaukee students, staff have family in Irma's path

Posted at 6:25 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 19:27:05-04

While many are bracing for Irma, some in Puerto Rico have no choice but to hunker down and cross their fingers.

This Category 5 hurricane is moving right over Puerto Rico Wednesday. Students with relatives in the area say their families are getting ready for whatever the storm will bring.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee junior Alexander Cordero's grandparents are in Puerto Rico and he says he's worried.

"A little nervous, I think they should be ok, I hope," said Cordero.

Irma is expected to dump more than 10 inches of rain.

"They definitely have my thoughts and prayers, there's going to be heavy flooding," said Cordero.

Alberto Maldonado, a staff member at the school, has been in contact with family through Facebook.

"There's not a minute that goes by that I don't want to go online and see how things are advancing," said Maldonado.

Maldonado is hoping this storm doesn't have as bad of an impact as hurricane Georges in 1998, a traumatic experience he could never forget.

"This is bringing back a lot of memories that were sort of put behind. I do have vivid memories of what that looks like, what it is to live an entire week or two with candles and canned food," said Maldonado.

That's why he's anxious, nervous and concerned for his loved ones.

"Hopefully they can come out of this with very minimal damages and human casualties," said Maldonado.

Maldonado says his family is seeking refuge at a school with a solid, safe structure. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with 3.4 million people. Winds are expected to get to 185 miles per hour.