PEI

'Sick feeling' for Islanders with family in path of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is hitting close to home for some Islanders who have family and properties along the storm's path.

'It's a waiting game, and you pray and hope for the best'

'I'm really nervous and scared,' says Stephanie Gallant Perez, whose husband lives in Cuba. Cuba is in the direct path of Hurricane Irma. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Hurricane Irma is hitting close to home for some Islanders who have family and properties along the storm's path.

Stephanie Gallant Perez' husband is from Cuba, and still lives there with his family. 

As it stands, Irma is on a path to hit the island country in the next few days. 

"It's just ... 280 kilometre-an-hour winds, and it's wiping out islands," she said. "I'm really nervous and scared, and really paying attention, trying to keep in contact with him and all his family, just to know day by day how everything's going." 

'Sick feeling'

It's the unknown.Does he have to evacuate? Where is he? That's what's playing in my mind.- Stephanie Gallant Perez

Gallant Perez said she worries that if the hurricane does hit Cuba, cell phone service there will die, leaving her with no way to keep in touch.

"It's the unknown.  Does he have to evacuate? Where is he? That's what's playing in my mind," she said. "It leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach."

For Luis Roman, who is originally from Puerto Rico, the feeling is relief. 

'Nothing I can do'

Much of his family still lives there and is where Irma was expected to hit hard on Wednesday. 

Watch an update from CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland from earlier Thursday.

Luckily, the eye of the storm steered clear of Puerto Rico, though nearly 900,000 people were left without power.

Roman's family is safe and their homes are still standing. 

"I was very relieved," he said. "Of course, I'm out here so there's nothing I can do.  It's a waiting game, and you pray and hope for the best."

Irma heading toward Florida

By the weekend, Irma is expected to hit Florida, where there are plenty of P.E.I. connections. 

Sandra Aguila, originally from Stratford, P.E.I. but now living in Florida, says she and her husband are preparing to evacuate their homes. Pictured is Aguila's husband boarding up their home in anticipation of damage from Hurricane Irma. (Submitted by Sandra Aguila.)

Sandra Aguila, who is from Stratford, P.E.I. but now lives just southwest of Jacksonville, Fla., said the neighbouring county has been told to prepare to leave.

"We're just waiting, and uncertain," Aguila said. "We've made plans for us to evacuate if we need to. But it's just a waiting game right now. I'm very worried."

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