ArkLaTex residents worry about relatives as Hurricane Dorian moves near Puerto Rico

ArkLaTex residents concerned for relatives in Hurricane Dorian's path

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — While Northwest Louisiana and the surrounding area will not feel the effects of Hurricane Dorian, the storm does have some of its residents nervous.

As word began to spread this week about another hurricane approaching Puerto Rico, some described having nearly the very same thought:

"Oh, not again!"

That was the response from Haughton auto shop owner Jose Zeda.

He has nearly a dozen relatives who survived Hurricane Maria two years ago.

That’s when we first introduced you to him and his family as they nervously awaited word of their safety.

“After the previous storm, my family, some of them came here. They stayed with me.”

Despite the devastation in Puerto Rico, most of Zeda's family has slowly returned home to the island.

And he's cautioned each of them about the bad conditions that remain there.

"When I say bad, their houses were destroyed. Roads were bad; no food; no water; no gasoline."

But Zeda explained that he understands why they’ve returned home.

"You know family. Can't stay away from family too long."

Unlike two years ago, at this point anyway, Zeda and his brother and business partner Tito Balderrrama, are not quite as worried.

But Balderrrama said history has shown him these storms have a mind of their own and can change direction on a dime.

“It’s like playing pool. Depending on how you hit the ball, it’s gonna spin or it can spin you farther back or farther in.”

There is also a lingering fear about the exact circumstances of the hurricane and island this time around.

For example, Dorian is not nearly as strong as Maria turned out to be when it hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane early Sept. 20, 2017.

But Puerto Rico is still recovering and described as fragile.

Dorian effectively becomes the island's first test of emergency preparedness since Maria.

So, it’s now a situation of watch and wait — again.

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