Hurricane Irma now a Category 5, efforts to prevent damages underway in Puerto Rico

Efforts to prevent damages are currently underway on the island

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hurricane Irma is now a category five hurricane capable of causing massive devastation.

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to an extremely dangerous, Category 5 storm.

It’s is threatening to slam into the northeastern Caribbean Islands and Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

Residents with family members living in Puerto Rico told 22News that their worried for their safety, but that they are hoping for the best.

Maria Vidal was able to translate the concerns this mother has.

“I’m concerned because I have my daughter over there and my grandkids,” said Adaluz Medina of Springfield.

The governor of Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency. Schools and businesses across the island have also closed.

More than 450 shelters on the island are prepared to take in as many as 62,000 people. Some residents told 22News their families have lived through a hurricane, but not one expected to be this severe.

“They’re just getting ready for the hurricane,” said William Santiago of Springfield. “I’m worried obviously for them but there’s nothing I can really do for them.”

“My brother-in-law, my aunt, I got a lot of family there,” Vera Toldo of Springfield told 22News. “So I hope this hurricane don’t hit that hard in Puerto Rico.”

Efforts to prevent damages are currently underway on the island.

Authorities are removing drain blockage and trimming down trees to prevent power outages.