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News Archive > General > Desperate flee from hurricane

Desperate flee from hurricane

By Natasha Swift 13th September 2017

Desperate flee from hurricane
The empty departure lounge

A ST AUSTELL family has told of their narrow escape from Hurricane Irma after being evacuated from Florida just hours before the state was hit by the most powerful storm in a decade.

The family, who do not wish to be named, were due to fly home from the Sunshine State on Sunday, but when Orlando’s Sanford International Airport was closed they began bracing themselves to ride out the 130mph winds and floods.

On Friday they had still not heard if they would be cutting their holiday short or whether they would be left to face down the storm, which has left six people dead in Florida.

The airport was closed on Saturday because of Hurricane Irma and flights in and out of the state were cancelled.

But UK tour operators faced a race against time and sent flights to Florida to try and rescue stranded families ahead of the airport being shut down.

On Friday the family still had no idea if they would be left with no where to stay if they could not get on a flight back to the UK.

They said: “We had no idea if we should have been organising extending our room ourselves as the woman on the front desk said the hotel is full. It’s scary.”

Thomson finally confirmed to the family that their flight home would be brought forward to 3pm on Saturday rather than the planned 5pm Sunday flight.

The family said they had been a wreck on the last couple of days of their holiday as they had not known what was happening.

With the impending storm barrelling closer, on Saturday a note from the Walt Disney World resort where they were staying was pushed under their room door, explaining: “As we continue to monitor the storm, our resort will be observing local curfews for your safety. You may be confined to your guest room for 24 to 48 hours until the curfew is lifted.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding, and apologise for any inconvenience.”
Luckily the family were placed on one of the last flights out of Florida before the storm ripped through the resort.

They said: “It was a shame it was cut short but we feel incredibly lucky to be evacuated. We were so incredibly lucky to have been flown home early although feel sad for those left behind.”

Thomson issued a statement saying: “We would like to thank our guests for their patience while we try to arrange flights home as quickly as possible from Florida following the impact of Hurricane Irma and the restrictions imposed by the local airports as a result.”

By Natasha Swift 13th September 2017

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