NEW YORK — Tropical Storm Fiona is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico as a hurricane on Sunday, and it’s spiking anxiety not just there, but also here in New York, home to more than 850,000 Puerto Ricans.
The Mott Haven neighborhood in the Bronx may be 1,600 miles from Puerto Rico, but from the food to the nightlife, it is full of Puerto Rican culture nonetheless.
“I’m from the center of the island,” Maria Colon said.
“Whole side of my dad’s family,” Yvonne Colon said.
But right now, those Puerto Rican New Yorkers are especially happy to be in the Bronx.
Some of their relatives are bracing for Tropical Storm Fiona, including some who are right in the storm’s expected path.
“I just finished speaking to an aunt of mine. She was literally getting everything ready for her house, you know, so they won’t get damaged,” Yvonne Colon said.
Forecasters say heavy rains could cause not just power outages, but landslides and severe flooding.
The storm already hit several Caribbean islands, and at least one person died in Guadeloupe.
“It’s a little worrisome,” said Lorenny Martinez, who has been checking in often with her aunt. “The lights are gonna go off and maybe they’re not gonna have water for a couple of days. They’re hoping it’s not like Maria, but I think they’re gonna be fine.”
Martinez and others still recall the anxiety of not being able to reach their family by phone for two weeks after Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Ricans here are hoping they can get frequent updates from their relatives.