Local woman worries about family in the path of Hurricane Maria

TOLEDO, Oh (WTVG) - With sustained winds of 175 miles per hour, Hurricane Maria has already left her mark on the Caribbean.

"Our first order of business will be search and rescue," Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica said.

The small island of Dominica has been devastated and the same category 5 hurricane that did the damage is on the move.

Puerto Rico is expected to take a direct hit.

"All indications are that this is going to be devastating and catastrophic," Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rossello said.

Right now, hurricane warnings are in effect up and down several coastlines, including the Dominican Republic.

"My mom's side of the family is still there," Basmery Martinez, who currently lives in Toledo, said. "They're not able to come to the United States."

Martinez was born in the Dominican Republic and is now a student at the University of Toledo. These days, though, it's been hard to concentrate on her studies. She's worried about her mother and three young sisters.

If Maria stays on track, it could put her family in danger.

"I can imagine my family being in that situation and I'm just here, living life," she said. "My family is my world. Everything I do is for them."

Martinez says she talks to her mom everyday, but she's finding it harder and harder to get a hold of her. She worries that poor infrastructure on the island will make it impossible to stay connected once the storm reaches her family home.

"The houses aren't guild like they are here. They're made of wood and can't sustain a strong wind," she said.

So, for now, she waits with a close eye on the storm.

"All I can do is pray and leave it in God's hands," she said.