WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Travelers trying to escape from Florida before Hurricane Irma hits packed their patience and prayers and said a sigh of relief once they touched down at Bradley International Airport here in Connecticut.
“I am so happy and relieved to be here in Connecticut,” said Lakeita Barrett. “Blessed. Blessed. Definitely the Lord was looking out for us.”
Her family is safe after being on a cruise ship while the hurricane was barreling towards them off the coast of Florida. News8 asked them what they felt when they were on a cruise ship with a category 5 hurricane lurking in the ocean.
“When you’re out at sea and you don’t have the means of communication, it is very scary,” Lakeita said.
News8 asked what kind of reports were they getting at sea.
“We didn’t get much at first,” said Damian Barrett. “Just that when we first got on they were monitoring the ports just to avoid it and then after the second port, the commodore made an announcement they were turning the ship around. It’s now a Category 5.”
One traveler came from the Turks and Caicos islands in the Caribbean, where Irma has already done damage. Waves as high as 20 feet pounded the islands where she lives. She showed News8 pictures of the dangerous flooding in her neighborhood and damage to buildings to homes.
The whole ordeal has taken an emotional toll. While she’s happy to be safe in Connecticut with family here, she also feels a sense of guilt.
“Guilt really that we left everybody behind,” she said.
A woman named Barrie is worried about her friends, too. She left her home in Destin, Florida, choosing to ride out the storm with family in Stamford. She plans to return to Florida next week, but she’s afraid of what she might find when she gets there.
“Florida is really tense right now because there’s a shortage of gas,” Barrie said. “Even if nothing happens to us, it’s going to be hard to travel and get around and that’s all on the piggybacking of what happened in Texas recently, so we’re kind of hurtin’ in the south right now.”