Days after Hurricane Irma, many are still scrambling to get their lives back on track. One Chattanooga couple is finally back home after getting caught in the Category 5 stage of Irma while on vacation.
Imagine finally going on your dream vacation in any other situation having it extended for a few days would be great, but Hurricane Irma kept Chris and Melanie from the ideal island experience.
“It was kind of like having Europe in the middle of the Caribbean so for me it was on my bucket list,” said Melanie Newton. After a few days of beautiful weather Hurricane Irma forced Chris and Melanie from St. Martin to Puerto Rico.
Then locals there told them to head to a store to prepare for the worse.
“There were already lines out the door, fighting over the supplies that were left they had to beef up security,” said Melanie Newton.
The only things they could get their hands on were water, peanut butter and a few batteries.
They got enough for three days and by day two they were down to the last two spoonfuls of peanut butter.
“We really only ate that when we felt weak and your mind really kind of shuts off at that point you don't really feel hunger,” said Melanie Newton. “I think your adrenaline is really going.”
Chris and Melanie were among 92 others who were stranded and fighting to make it through.
Even when the storm passed one thing was still clear don't go outside.
“We were being threatened by men with guns and machetes trying to take what little we had so we had to barricade ourselves into the building,” said Melanie Newton.
Selfless is what Chris and Melanie call the people who helped drive them to the military base, where they finally began to regain a peace of mind.
“Until last night when we laid in our bed and we got ready to go to sleep,” said Chris Spear.
“I was on a C130 Jet and I saw the notebook piece of paper and took a picture of it that said you're safe,” said Melanie Newton.
Chris and Melanie say they have created a family with some of the other storm survivors and they have even extended their home for those have lost everything. They are even planning to send some essential items to other families who are still going without.