Friends Holly Belcher and Kari Hansen were about to celebrate Holly’s 21st birthday in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but once they landed in St. Thomas, their dream vacation turned ugly after Hurricane Irma hit.
“We knew there was a hurricane forming but when we left… it was only a category 2 and it wasn’t supposed to hit us head on,” says Belcher.
The category 5 hurricane destroyed countless homes and cars and sparked a few electrical fires in its wake.
Belcher and Hansen say they found safety in their hotel bathroom during the storm.
“I thought I was going to die…It felt like somebody was breaking into our hotel room. The door was banging, we were hearing glass (break), it was just scary,” says Hansen.
The storm shut down the local airport. To get back home, their only options are to wait for rescue crews from FEMA or to board the next cruise ship headed to Florida.
“I want to go home really bad and it`s very discouraging because I can’t even count how many plans have fallen through,” says Hansen.
The next cruise ship is scheduled to arrive at St. Thomas on Monday, September 11, if not, Hansen and Belcher will have to wait for FEMA crews to arrive on Wednesday, September 13.