Former 9NEWS employee talks Irma as the hurricane strikes Puerto Rico

While the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean is expected to scrape the island, the U.S. territory is supposed to miss the brunt of the storm.

Puerto Rico is getting lashed by Irma, and while meteorologists say the worst of the hurricane will likely miss the US territory, the island is still getting very strong winds.

Jessica Peguero is a former 9NEWS employee who lives in Culebra, an island off the east coast of Puerto Rico.

“We run a hotel," she said. "Casa Culebra. There's seven villas here. We're on the water.”

Her home is on a mountain and she said Irma's heavy winds were so strong she and her family moved to one of the villas in their hotel and she says she thinks she made the right decision to move to a lower point.

“We're kind of expecting it to just come up to where we are and come in a little bit but not past that,” said Peguero.

Her island lost power shortly after the main island and she planned to stay inside but could hear the storm getting closer.

“It makes this really eerie sound," she said. "But yeah, I think we've already heard things like trees cracking and there's definitely going to be stuff down.”

She said the severity of the storm was announced late and the last ferry stopped running on Sunday so getting to a major store is not going to happen.

They tried to leave Tuesday and bought airline tickets hoping to get their 10-month-old baby to a safer place.

“It turns out it was a bogus flight," Peguero said. "Like they just didn't, they had actually shut down the airline and put the planes away by 12:30 and we didn't know so we had to get ready fast to, you know, stay here."

Now, all they can do is wait and hope once the storm passes their home and business are still intact.

She said, luckily, they stocked up on ice and, once Irma passes, they will grill meat the first couple of days and stick to canned food until power is restored.

As of early this evening, Culebra saw wind gusts of 100 mph!

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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