Greenville business owner survives Irma in Puerto Rico

Credit: John Tirado

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Many Caribbean islands are now dealing with the devastation Hurricane Irma left behind.

Some Upstate families have loved ones who were on the islands when the storm hit.

John Tirado owns “Tirado’s Empanadas and More” in Greenville with his wife. He is in Puerto Rico with their son fixing up a home they own on the Western end of the island. Tirado says that part of Puerto Rico didn’t get hit as hard as the area by San Juan.

“The heaviest rain that we got was after midnight,” Tirado said.

He says they’re still without water and power.

Around one million people in Puerto Rico still don’t have power.

“There are some areas they roped off that are flood areas, so those are still flooded, the roads,” Tirado said.

His wife says she was relieved the storm took a different path. Tearfully, she says her biggest concern was her husband and son staying together.

“I didn’t want them away from each other if anything happened, and they kept telling me ‘mom, don’t worry about it, we’re ok,’” Patricia Tirado said.

She says she was glued to the television watching the course of the storm. She says her son and husband still don’t know about most of Irma’s destruction.

“They have no clue, so I’m telling them because everything’s shut down,” Patricia said.

They do have some family that was in the area of the Puerto Rico that was hit harder. Tirado says he was able to talk to his nephew yesterday.

“He said it was like night time when I talked to him at 12 o’clock in the afternoon” Tirado said.

However, the family, who’s lived through other hurricanes on the island, knows the hard part is just beginning.

“The sound, and the wind, and the trees going like this, but it’s the after effect, the devastation after that really is the scary part,” Patricia said.

Tirado says he’s now worried about his wife with the Irma heading towards South Carolina.

Tirado says he’ll decide in two days if he and his son are going to cut their trip short and head back to South Carolina.