Local families having trouble communicating with loved ones in Irma's path

Rochester families struggle to communicate with their loved ones as Hurricane Irma moves towards the United States (WHAM PHOTO)

Rochester, N.Y. - People with family in Hurricane Irma's path are on edge, hoping for the best.

Mariana Garcia has been glued to her television for hours.

"In Florida and Puerto Rico, we are used to hurricanes but nothing ever to this magnitude," Garcia said.

Garcia lives in Rochester, but grew up in Puerto Rico. Her cousins still live there.

"I'm worried about how long they will go without power if they lose cell phone towers," Garcia said. "How will we communicate with them?"

Garcia says the last thing she did with her cousins is pray. She hasn't heard from them since Wednesday morning.

"They have stressed to the family to not contact them too much," Garcia said. "Because losing power and electricity is the biggest concern."

Garcia's parents live in South Florida. At last check, they were driving to Florida with very little gas.

"I'm scared," Garcia said.

Karen McCready has been calling the island of Saint John her second home for 20 years. Her daughter, Colleen, moved there two-and-a-half years ago.

"It hit around 1 p.m. [Wednesday] afternoon," McCready said. "So, I was feeling quite anxious. Just not knowing what was going to happen. A storm of that level, none of us have seen before."

As of 10:00 p.m. Wednesday night, McCready tells 13WHAM that her daughter is safe, but her home was destroyed.

"They are exposed to the elements as their doors and windows were blown out and their balcony is gone," McCready said. "They are lucky to be alive. Glass and debris all over."

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