New Orleans native bracing for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

New Orleans native braces for Maria in Puerto Rico

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As Category 5 Maria moves closer to Puerto Rico, residents there are bracing for a direct hit. And New Orleans native Laine Gorman knows all too well how devastating a hurricane can be.

"It's pretty scary, you know. I mean, I was in New Orleans for Katrina, but this feels wholly different," Gorman said.

Now, she's once again in the path of a storm that is already making history.

"We thought we were going to really see some big action with Irma, and we were very blessed to be missed, unlike most of the Caribbean. But this is a pretty big deal," Gorman said.

Gorman was born and raised in New Orleans. But she now manages a hotel on Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico.

"Everything is shut down so we are currently in the hotel that I manage, El Blok, which is a huge fortified structure, and we're just trying to hang on and see what's going to happen," said Gorman. "We're across the street from the beach so we're just going to be, you know, sort of monitoring the storm surge.We're elevated, and like I said we're in this big concrete building. So hopefully, I feel like this is probably the safest place for us on the island."

She knows the forecast isn't looking good for Puerto Rico.

"With this being on the south side of the island and us being on the wrong side of the storm, it is a very different feeling, and Puerto Rico hasn't had a storm this large take a direct hit since 1928, and so pretty much everyone, at least in my scope, you know - the people in public office, no one's really experienced this on an island, you know, of this size, and so it is, it's very, very scary," she said.

She says it's not the storm that concerns her the most, it's the aftermath.

"This is normally a little bustling community here, and right now it's just super quiet and kind of all shuttered up and hoping that it will all be standing when we're done," Gorman said.

Gorman said evacuating Vieques was not an option for her because she runs a business on the island, and she also has family and her dogs there.

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