1 Fort Lauderdale
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A local family is breathing easier after an excruciating several days in St. Maarten, where they were on vacation when Hurricane Irma devastated the region.
A four day vacation became a twelve day nightmare for Andres Chiriboga and Sonia Romero. The couple had no choice but to face Hurricane Irma’s wrath while stuck in St. Maarten.
“It was total chaos,” said Sonia Romero, “I mean, I prayed for three hours straight until the eye and then I prayed for three more hours straight.”
As the Category Five storm slammed the island, Sonia and Andres bunkered down in their hotel bathroom.
“It was 185 mile per hour winds in there with pressure in your ears. I mean, my head hurt, my arms were numb,” said Romero.
Part of the roof flew off, water started coming into the room and projectiles were everywhere. During the eye of the storm, they ran to a room next door.
Their images of the aftermath are devastating. For several days, the couple managed to get by purchasing food wherever they could. They said many hotel guests worked together to survive and help each other out.
On Saturday, the United States Air Force came to the rescue and flew Americans to Puerto Rico.
On Thursday night, Sonia and Andres arrived in Miami to a warm embrace from their son; grateful to be home and glad Irma is history.
“I hate her! Yes!” said Sonia.