Hurricane Irma struck the Caribbean with no remorse, catching many Chicagoans in its wake, including a honeymooning couple and Illinois State Sen. Iris Martinez.
A category 4 hurricane, Irma swept through at winds as high as 130 mph, according to ABC News. Caught in the midst were locals and travelers, including many from Chicago who were stranded in the storm.
Martinez was vacationing in the French-Dutch island of St. Martin where at least 10 people have died as a result of Hurricane Irma’s wrath, according to NBC. Similarly, Anthony Christopher and his wife Giovanni where on their dream honeymoon when the storm hit, according to WGN.
What both of their stories have in common is the fear and uncertainty which haunted everyone caught in Irma’s path. While Martinez was asked to return home to Chicago early, she was unable to do so as the storm was already causing flight cancellations and beginning to tear through the island.
“I was hunkered down in my room, I was in the bathroom,” Martinez told NBC. “The ordeal itself, that hour and a half when the pounding really started and I was locked in the bathroom, just holding onto the door…It was the worst experience of my life.”
Anthony and Giovanni tried to fly home a day earlier from Caribbean island Turks and Caicos, but after spending $500 to change their flight, the airline cancelled it, according to WGN. While the resort they are staying in has generators going, Anthony told WGN he is disappointed in the way American Airlines is treating him and his wife.
With Irma tearing through the Caribbean and part of Florida, many Chicagoans are returning home as quickly as possible, describing the event as the scariest thing they’ve experienced. Many are still stuck in the aftermath of Irma and are trying to find a way home.