Residents with family in Caribbean worry about Irma's impact

Posted: Updated:
BROOKLYN -

Brooklyn residents with family in the Caribbean say they are worried about Hurricane Irma's impact on the island nations.

Irma was slamming the Caribbean Wednesday as a Category 5 storm, packing catastrophically powerful winds and with flooding impacting millions in its path. Irma is the largest hurricane recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

President Donald Trump has issued an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico, which hasn't seen a storm like Irma since Hurricane San Felipe in 1928.

Svetlana Kazanskaya, of Manhattan Beach, says she's been worried sick about her friends vacationing in her apartment in Sint Maarten as Irma rips through the region. She says 72-year-old Isak Shukhat and his 69-year-old wife Tatiana, both of Brooklyn, were there on vacation since Saturday. Early Wednesday morning, Kazanskaya says they called to tell her that her apartment was destroyed and that they were trapped in the bathroom.

After hours of silence, Kazanskaya says family members heard from the couple and that both were alive. The building, however, partially collapsed.

In Sunset Park, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, volunteers and constituents gathered together care packages at the request of community organization El Grito de Sunset Park. Those packages will be sent to family members in Puerto Rico and on other islands.

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