Hurricane Irma did not directly pass over Puerto Rico, travelling north instead. Nearly 30 years ago, Puerto Rico was hit hard by Hurricane Hugo, which left more than 28,000 residents homeless. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks to Associated Press reporter Dánica Coto about the impact of Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico as one of the strongest-ever storms in the Atlantic gets closer to the island.We are following the progress this morning of one of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricanes ever recorded as it tracks toward South Florida. Start with where you are. But Abigail Acevedo, 60, who survived Hugo, said Irma was worse.

He saw two of them, from houses facing his, flying away in the wind.“Oh boy,” he said in an internet phone call from his concrete house in the Johnson’s Ghut area of the island, where he had been riding out the storm all day and posting videos of it,“All the trees around us have no leaves,” he added. Hurricane conditions did occur on Puerto Rico’s northeastern coast. Here he is describing the scene on the island of Barbuda.PRIME MINISTER GASTON BROWNE: What I saw was heart-wrenching, I mean, absolutely devastating.KELLY: But in Puerto Rico, many are breathing a sigh of relief. At least one person, an infant, was killed.Barbuda, home to about 1,600 people (3 percent of the country’s population), “is literally rubble,” the prime minister told ABS TV/Radio Antigua.In his initial statement Wednesday morning, Mr. Browne suggested he had been receiving reports from Barbuda. Browne said he had been caught off guard by the utter destruction in Barbuda because it is so close to the comparatively unscathed Antigua. This morning on NBC, Florida Governor Rick Scott called on people in evacuation zones to get moving.RICK SCOTT: People are leaving the Keys right now, so we've got to continue to do that. Puerto Rico’s economy has shown considerable signs of improvement after the hit form hurricanes Irma and Maria two years ago, while the U.S. Virgin Islands economy remains “mired in a … The National Guard and police evacuated people in low-lying areas, and more than 4,000 people and about 150 pets are in shelters.KELLY: That's AP reporter Danica Coto updating us from San Juan.
September 7: Irma left hundreds in Puerto Rico without power. Here’s what to know about the hurricane’s impact in the Caribbean and its path towards Florida:Irma first hit the islands of Antigua & Barbuda causing widespread destruction early on Wednesday. But the big thing is, on both coasts - everybody has to understand - this thing could move. The islands are less than 40 miles apart.President Emmanuel Macron of France said on Wednesday evening that it was too early to say how badly the islands of St. Martin and St. Barthélemy had been damaged or how many casualties there were. Is that even possible, I mean, with so many people without power? Most projections have the storm arriving in Florida by Sunday. ".AP reporter Danica Coto is in Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan. • Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, hit the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday with winds of up to 185 miles an hour, but had slowed to 180 m.p.h. But the problematic response turned a natural disaster into a man-made catastrophe.

And the power company's director has said that some areas could be without power from anywhere from four to six months while other areas could receive power within less than a week.KELLY: And what are you hearing about the situation in other parts of the Caribbean, the Virgin Islands? “Everything is empty.”.Late on Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency tweeted a photo from a resident of St. Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands.Earlier in the day, Kelsey Nowakowski, who lives in St. Thomas, described how she and four friends had hunkered down and waited for the storm to pass.“We’ve all been in hurricanes before, but have never felt anything like this before,” Ms. Nowakowski said in a message via Twitter. Is that actually the mood there?COTO: It is. Maximum sustained winds are 185 MPH, and central pressure is 914 mb on the 5 pm EDT NHC advisory. The worst of the storm appears to have passed it by. So it'll be higher. Hurricane Irma's Impact On Puerto Rico NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks to Associated Press reporter Dánica Coto about the impact of Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico … A lot of people are facing, you know, a very devastating situation and trying to keep their families and friends safe as well.KELLY: Yeah. He urged people to stock up on basics and refill their prescriptions, and said the state was working to address shortages of fuel and bottled water.Evacuation orders for Miami-Dade County were expected Wednesday or early Thursday, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said, as a precaution for what is expected to be unprecedented coastal flooding. The nation’s Prime Minister said that the islands were.A two-year-old boy is confirmed to have died in the storm as his family tried to escape a building damaged by the storm. What is the scene in Puerto Rico?COTO: There's a lot of tree branches scattered across roads, blocking many roads, especially in the interior Puerto Rico, and a couple of electric posts also have been ripped off. But for right now, it seems a lot of trees and tree branches and electric posts.KELLY: Yeah, and I guess one of the major impacts has been just power outages. … Take it seriously.”.The governor said 1,000 National Guard troops would be on duty by Wednesday night, and ordered most state government offices closed on Friday. But French officials reported that the death toll was at least two, and Mr. Macron said the aftermath would be “harsh and cruel.”.“We will have victims to lament, and the material damage on the two islands is considerable,” he said after a crisis meeting in Paris, adding that the “entire nation” stood beside the inhabitants of the islands.Mr.