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Members of the local Puerto Rican community are on edge while family and friends are on the island

Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 23:20:08-04

Some members of our local Puerto Rican community here in western New York are holding their breath, hoping everything will be okay for their family and friends on the island. 

Roger Revera moved to New York from Puerto Rico in 1975 and has lived in Buffalo for 42 of those years. 

He has dozens of family members on the island. Revera hung up phone with his brother right before talking with 7 Eyewitness News. 

He says his brother is in his basement, which is the safest part of his house as the storm passes through. 

Revera’s brother also has seen roads being shut down and trees on the ground. He says although there is not much he can do for them from Buffalo, he is sending them prayers.

“I’ve never seem anything like that and neither has my family. My brother is telling me he has never seen anything like that and he’s been there for 62 years,” Revera said. 

Chito Olivencia is another Western New Yorker who was born in Puerto Rico and spent time living in Buffalo. He is scared for the community. 

"We're in for a big surprise" Olivencia said, "I know what it is like, it's a scary thing."

Olivencia saw the damage that was done during Hurricane Georges in 1998. He will be returning to Puerto Rico in November and is hoping it looks the same as when he left, but is not keeping his hopes high.

"I want to be able to go back to see Puerto Rico like I left it and I know that's not how it's going to be."

Irma is currently a Category Five Hurricane, and has wind speeds of up to 185 mph.