New Bern woman gets good news after fears for family in Puerto Rico

Isa Gratacos Padros

NEW BERN, Craven County - The past 24 hours were filled with anxiety for Isa Gratacos Padros.

She has a reason for concern as the eye of Hurricane Maria went over the island of Puerto Rico, where most of her family lives. She said her father's phone line went dead.

"During the night, everything started around 10," Padros said.

Irma hit the island with 155 mph winds and her family was right in the middle of it. She moved to New Bern six years ago and initially didn't hear anything from her father or other family members in San Juan.

"We were able to talk until the eye made landfall like around 5 in the morning," Padros said. "They got hit with the eye, which is the most dangerous part of the storm. It's just scary to see what it did to Barbuda."

With a silver lining of relief, she eventually heard from her father.

"We are really scared because we see all the wind and you can hear all the noise and see all the rain," Don Victor Gratacos said on the phone. "Many palm trees have fallen down and many towers for electricity have fallen down and right now in the building, we don't have light but we have water."

Power to the apartment building and most of the island will be out for a while. A spokesman for Puerto Rico's government said the entire island is without power.

"The special generators that were to provide light for the building are not working," Gratacos said.

Padros said she still hasn't heard from her mother-in-law and is hopeful she'll receive good news soon.

"The last we heard, water was coming into her apartment," Padros said.

Restoring power isn't the only thing Puerto Rico has to worry about. Officials said 80 percent of the homes in one hard-hit neighborhood were completely destroyed. So far, nine people have been reported as dead due to Maria.