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News Archive > General > Singer flees hurricane horror

Singer flees hurricane horror

By Warren Wilkins 13th September 2017

Singer flees hurricane horror
St Columb Major singer Martyn Lucas has escaped the wrath of Irma.

AN entertainer from St Columb Major and his American girlfriend  have been evacuated from a Caribbean island following the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

Talented singer and piano player Martyn Lucas, and his partner Leah, were flown out of St Martin by the US Air Force to Puerto Rico after being left without an apartment, water, food, spare clothes or a toilet. They hope to get a flight to mainland USA before travelling back to Cornwall as soon as possible.

Martyn, who has had a residency at the Basement Bar in Cliff Road throughout the summer, was working on the island when the category five hurricane hit the Caribbean last Wednesday, which killed 12 people and left more than 100 people injured.

The 48-year-old entertainer stated that everyone thought they were going to die when the hurricane struck. The 185mph winds caused “apocalyptic” scenes as houses were flattened, power lines were brought down and roads blocked.

Martyn and Leah feared for their safety following the hurricane as the destruction led to looting and lawlessness after food and medicine became scarce. The couple were taken in by Good Samaritans before the US Air Force stepped in to evacuate them following concerns a dangerous category four tropical cyclone called Hurricane Jose could hit the area. Newquay MP Steve Double has also helped the couple through the British Foreign Office.

Martyn said: “After Irma hit we were without power, running water, working bathrooms or even a place to stay as our room was destroyed.

“I lost everything I own other than the clothes I was wearing.  Leah helped me a lot and she took care of me. It’s easy to be a brave guy after the wind has gone.

“We had no way to get clean and there was nowhere to eat but Leah and I were alive and that is what matters. It was chaos the first day as everyone struggled to comprehend the enormity of what had just happened and the devastation surrounding us. There were also concerns the next thing to happen would be disease.

“We were surrounded by army and militia and people were fighting in the streets. There was no protection. The French and Dutch Army were trying to keep peace as it was obviously out of control. It was a bad situation. We saw horrifying things and are still in shock and trying to process it all.  

“Strangers, God bless them, took us into their rooms and we stayed with them. I began working with a few other people there to organise and set up a system to keep us informed and maintain some semblance of organisation and calmness given the circumstances. I was trying to tell people we can survive on a bottle of water for weeks if you just sip it and take your time and keep calm. Combined, our group was in contact with the UK Home Office and the US Government.

“Leah is American and the US Air Force came in and evacuated both US citizens and non-citizens, myself included.

“The poor people in St Martin lost everything. They won’t recover soon but we learned firsthand that the people of St Martin are strong, warm, wonderful people, and we will continue to pray for them and help them.

“The pictures of the devastation you see on TV are nothing compared to what you see standing on the street.

“Agencies are getting us back to mainland USA and at some point I need to get back to Cornwall.”

By Warren Wilkins 13th September 2017

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