Couple flee Hurricane Irma
Holidaymakers hit by ordeal on Florida trip
A terrified couple’s dream anniversary trip turned to horror as they faced the might of Hurricane Irma.
Graeme Warnock and wife Ally were forced to ride out the monster storm after being barricaded in their Florida hotel.
The Alloway pair were holidaying in downtown Orlando when the deadly weather crashed ashore.
Marketing executive Graeme, 31, said: “We were put on a 24- hour curfew between Sunday and Monday night.
“It did a lot of damage in terms of tree branches coming down but thankfully where we were seemed to escape the worst.
“The news had been full of warnings when it was a category four and five storm approaching the Miami coast.
“But luckily it lost strength on its way to us and we seemed to withstand things relatively well.”
And another family told how they were evacuated from their resort – with just HOURS to spare.
South Ayrshire Council admin worker Fraser Watson, 22, faced a race against time to head for safety with mum Bernie and dad Craig. Fraser, of Maybole, said: “We were staying down in Clearwater which was in line to be hit hard.
“We knew something was up as early as last Wednesday when the hotel staff were clearing up sun loungers around us.
“We then got a letter through the door with a mandatory evacuation order from the state governor.”
Bernie, 52, a sales manager at Debenhams in Ayr, said: “The staff were panicking – you could see it in their faces.
“They had never been through a storm that was going to be that big and they didn’t really know what to do.
“We were terrified we’d be stranded outside the hotel if taxis refused to do the two- hour drive to Orlando.
“But thankfully we found someone who would and managed to get petrol on the journey.
“We made it out of Orlando with four hours to spare before the airport shut.
“People ask if we were scared but I just say ‘ what’s for you won’t go by you.”
Prestwick woman Hilda Smith has blasted the UK government for failing to bring home her family from the battered Caribbean.
Brother Robert and sister- in- law Lesley have been unable to get off the Dutch colony of St Maarten.
Hilda said: “Military planes have been going out not full but they’re saying they don’t have permission to take them.”
Former Marr Rugby player Thomas Gaunt saw his home and kite- surfing business destroyed in the British Virgin Islands.
Evacuated Fraser and mum Bernie were flown to safety Devastation Battered houses in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Florida
Hideout Graeme and Ally