Local Jamaicans say island was already in need of help, and will need more once Hurricane Matthew p

Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-30 18:45:33-04

Hurricane Matthew strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Friday evening, and is expected to travel over the island of Jamaica late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

Norma Baugh lives in The Acreage, but moved to the United States back in 1969 from Jamaica.

She said she was already collecting donations to send to the struggling country when she learned about the storm.

"I don't care if it's Jamaica or another country, we are all human beings and the basic word there is loving each other. I might not love you, but I care for you," Baugh said.

Andrea Torrente came to the U.S. in 2011, but still has many friends and family in Jamaica.

"I'm thinking about my family, my friends. We can not afford a hurricane right now," Torrente said.

She said the most memorable storm to hit Jamaica within the past few decades was Hurricane Gilbert in 1988.

"That was a wake-up call for a lot of people," Torrente said.

That storm caused a lot of people to strengthen their homes in case another storm approached the island.

The most recent hurricane to hit was Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It hit as a Category 1 storm and Torrente said the island is still recovering from it.

"It is a big blow for our country. We are a third world country."