Fam­ily forced to flee Ir­maged­don

Caribbean home is de­stroyed in storm

West Lothian Courier - - News - Deb­bie Hall

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

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