Puerto Rico's power authority warned this week that many residents could be without power for up to four months in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which is due to hit the island territory Wednesday night.

"This hurricane is shaping up, I cannot really tell it's completely similar, but similar to Hugo," said Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Electric Power Authority, according to Elnuevodia.com. Hurricane Hugo hit the island in 1989, leveling much of the eastern coast.

"We are preparing for the worst case and begging for the best case," he said. "[W]e are talking about that there will certainly be blackouts and that there will certainly be areas that will spend three, four months without electricity. But our staff will be giving 100 percent."

Ramos said the "lack of maintenance and investment in equipment" will contribute to the lengthy outages he is anticipating. Puerto Rico has been suffering from a debt crisis for the last few years, which has crippled its economy.

Hurricane Irma was about to hit Puerto Rico as a category 5 storm late Wednesday and into Thursday.