University of Michigan grad in Antigua braces for Hurricane Irma

- Florida is gearing up for Hurricane Irma expected to possibly hit this weekend.

Currently the monster storm is headed for the Caribbean with winds of up to 185 miles per hour. A woman with ties to Michigan is in Antigua where it is expected to hit tonight.

Aarati Jagdeo is hoping for the best but fearing the worst. She remembers the devastation after Hurricane Luis struck the island of Antigua in the 1990s. And Irma is expected to hit even harder.

"I am definitely nervous," she said. "I think we are all nervous because this is something we have never seen before. We've never experienced anything like this before."

Aarati Jagdeo posted a picture of the unsettled ocean as the energy of Hurricane Irma draws near. The potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm is heading straight for Antigua.

The 34-year-old native who attended University of Michigan spoke to FOX 2 by Skype. The island was getting ready to shut down power as they prepare.

"I am worried about the structural capability of where I am," Jagdeo said.  "We all have strict building codes that take hurricanes into account, so they are meant to withstand. But like I said, this storm is like something we have never seen."

Jagdeo remembers the devastating damage Hurricane Luis left in 1995 with winds that reached 130 miles per hour with more than a dozen killed and nearly 70,000 left homeless.

Hurricane Irma is on target to hit many of the same eastern Caribbean islands and is expected to be even stronger.

"Luis came close in terms Antigua has gone through," she said. "This is 40 to 50 miles more faster wind. Luis decimated my island and so we are all agitated on what this may do."

Living on an island they are virtually trapped with nowhere to evacuate - except area shelters.

Jagdeo says they are as ready as they can be, securing their homes and stocking up on supplies, knowing electricity, internet access and water won't likely be available for weeks. Ultimately the fate of the island is unknown.

"We can have faith in the home or faith in the shelter that is close to where we are," she said. "Everything else is left up to God, faith or however you want to put it."

Power is now off on the island. FOX 2 tried messaging a bit ago for an update -but she says she has to conserve the electricity. 
 

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