A Basingstoke woman and her son are slowly making their way home having been stranded on the Caribbean island of St Maarten in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Tracy Boulton and 18-year-old son Eddy were staying in the Maho resort on the Dutch side of the island for a scuba diving trip when the category five hurricane struck last week.
The popular holiday island – on which around 80,000 people live – has been devastated by winds of up to 185mph and severe flooding.
Tracy and Eddy are expecting to get home sometime today, having got a flight out of Antigua.
And Tracy has been describing her experience on Facebook and the problems she and Eddy have faced in trying to get home.
Speaking to the Observer over Facebook, Tracy said: “As the unpredictable route Irma was taking became clear and that my location was in the bullseye, I didn’t know if we’d survive.
“We were very fortunate to be staying in a slightly older resort made of bricks and mortar rather than frame work and cladding as our building was mostly only damaged by flying debris of disintegrating buildings around us.
“The Caribbean is of course used to hurricanes, they can prepare for and recover from them normally within a day or two, but Irma was a record-breaking exception.
“I’d very much like to go back in a few years and find they have rebuilt the old characterful wooden veranda style houses that give the place such charm, but I can’t see it sadly. They can’t withstand hurricanes like Irma.”
Around 30 people have been killed in the Caribbean as a result of the hurricane, which has been weakening as it reached Florida this week.
Friends and family back home have been contacting the Foreign Office in a bid to speed up the evacuation process.
Jackie Saunders, one of Tracy’s friends, said: “Tracy has been given the standard advice to check on the website at gov.uk. This isn’t helpful as they are without power and Wi-Fi for long periods.
“The water is also off for some time so they’ve had to collect recycled water from air con units/humidifiers for washing.
“There is a problem with looting and food being sold at highly inflated prices.
“I’m hoping that a bit of publicity will help to speed up the much needed evacuation process.”
Without going into specific details, Basingstoke MP Maria Miller confirmed that she has been in contact with the Foreign Office regarding “two constituents who are caught up in this dreadful situation”.
She added: “I’ve been doing everything I can to make sure the Foreign Office is aware of their situation and to give as much support as possible.”