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Former Utahns now living in Puerto Rico describe impact of pair of hurricanes

Posted at 5:47 PM, Sep 20, 2017

DRAPER, Utah -- Darin Knowles hasn't been able to reach his wife in Puerto Rico since around three o'clock Wednesday morning.

"All caps my messages. You better contact me as soon as you can," Knowles said.

Darrin, Jessica, and their four kids moved from Draper to Puerto Rico in June, so it's been quite the adventure with two hurricanes in a matter of weeks.

"We didn't lose cell phone service last time with Irma," he said. "This one we lost everything, so I don't know what’s going on and it’s driving me nuts."

Knowles knows his family will be OK. They have a generator and their home is on a high perch, ready to handle a hurricane.

"The houses are like 6-8 inches of solid concrete," Knowles said. "The roofs and the walls and everything else. We have storm-proof windows, and we only have like six windows in the entire house."

However, not being able to reach them is agonizing.

"The governor came out and said he wanted to make sure communication was his number one priority," Knowles said. "He wanted to make sure cell phone service was always up and now it’s gone, so I think I'm assuming that the cell phone towers are down."

He was with his family when Hurricane Irma hit, and, in fact, it was his choice to stick it out so he's afraid he's created a monster.

"We had flights for them yesterday to fly out, and then the kids didn't want to go and they wanted to experience it," Knowles said.

After concerns for his family, Knowles worries about the new home he's fallen in love with.

"They've been kicked in the teeth quite a bit economically and so hopefully, I don't know, that's the one thing I'm worried about more than anything is the state of Puerto Rico, the economy afterwards," Knowles said.

Luckily, Knowles heard from his wife shortly after our story aired and says everyone’s OK.