Family forced to flee Irmageddon
Caribbean home is destroyed in storm
A frantic mum has told of her desperate wait to hear news from her daughter, whose family was caught up in the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
Vicky Zgardzinski, who is originally from Blackburn, her husband Steve Butcher and twoyear-old son Conal live on Tortola in the British Virgin Isles and were affected by the devastating storm which struck last week.
Vicky’s mum, Dorothy Keenan, said all she’d heard from her daughter was a brief message on Facebook saying they were okay, but hadn’t heard anything since.
She said all communication had been lost with the island and she was beside herself with worry until she finally heard the news she was desperately waiting for on Tuesday night.
Dorothy said: “I have been so anxious, the whole thing has been awful.
“They probably could have dug in and waited it out but they have a two-year-old son.
“Their home is destroyed but I know they have been able to stay with a friend whose house is ok, but there is no power or communications at all.
“I know some of her friends have been able to get flights that were chartered by the companies they work for, but they are stranded.”
Full-time mum Vicky moved to Tortola seven years ago where her husband works as a music teacher at a nearby private school.
Relieved Dorothy said she was delighted on Tuesday night to finally hear that her daughter and her family were safe and making their way home.
She continued: “She must have friends in high places and due to great efforts and the kindness from Vicky Lord and the rest of the team at Harneys BVI, my family have been taken by helicopter and are on their way to Puerto Rico where they will continue on to the UK.
“I still have not spoken to my daughter yet but I know they are safe. I am so overwhelmed by the kindness of others but my heart goes out to all those who are still trying to get evacuated, especially those with children.
“It was a beautiful place and a really great place to raise kids but these poor people now have nothing. Their homes and livelihoods are all gone.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help people in Tortola, visit www.gofundme.com/thehappy-table- hurricane- irmafund.
Island hell As hurricane winds hit the isle of Tortola
Terrifying experience Vicky, husband Steve Butcher and two-year-old son Conal, whose home in Tortola has been destroyed