With storm shutters up, eastern Ky. woman living in Puerto Rico braces for Irma

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Now that the storm shutters are up, Polly Hernandez says it is eery around Puerto Rico.

"It's very strange to drive through town and you see everything from Burlington's is completely boarded up, and car dealerships and gas stations - everybody is preparing," she said.

Hernandez was born and raised in Hazard. Now she and her family live in Cayey, Puerto Rico, where Hernandez and her husband serve in the National Guard.

Like many in Irma's path, they are keeping a close eye on the track the hurricane is taking.

"Keep us in your prayers," Hernandez told WKYT's Garrett Wymer by phone on Tuesday evening. "And keep thinking and hoping that this storm is going to turn north and it's not going to hit us like it's looking like it is."

Hernandez says preparing for tropical storms is pretty normal, but this is so much bigger. Still, she does not want her family back in Hazard to worry.

"I have to explain to them maybe I'll lose touch for a few hours, and will not be able to contact them, to not worry and I will get in touch," Hernandez said. "Just don't be hysterical over there, because we have to deal with it over here as calm as possible."

Puerto Rico is already under a state of emergency. Hernandez says school there has already been canceled through at least Thursday.

Now, they wait - an anxious time until Irma arrives.

"Reach out to anybody you know here," Hernandez said. "And just wait it out with us. I don't know what we can do at this point other than pray everybody is safe."

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