New Haven woman speaks about being rescued after being stranded in St. Maarten during Irma

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven woman who rode out Hurricane Irma inside a bathroom and became trapped and stranded in St. Maarten is finally back home.

Shandrea Pittman, along with hundreds of other American tourists, was rescued by the U.S. Military.

“They got women and children. The elderly people who were medically compromised,” explained Pittman. “…We were some of the first 300 people out.”

Four long days after Irma, sleeping on a chair in the lobby of a hotel with limited power, water, and food, Pittman was loaded onto a U.S. Military plane with only her passport and a few items.

Related Content: New Haven woman stuck in St. Maarten describes experience during Hurricane Irma

She stood in a line for seven hours, but eventually got on the plane bound for Puerto Rico.

“I was proud to be an American,” stated Pittman. “The military [and] everyone was so nice and welcoming to us.”

She knows she’s lucky to be alive.

Related Content: Irma leaves 9 dead in US, ‘devastation’ in Florida Keys

Unable to get a flight out before Irma, Pittman rode out the Category 5 storm in a small bathroom with her five girlfriends for 19 hours.

“It was moments when rain [was] coming in on [the] ceiling,” said Pittman. “The floor stated to flood, walls were shaking.”

St. Maarten firefighters eventually freed them, and now, Pittman is back home.

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