Savannah-area residents survive Category 5 Irma in St. Maarten

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Pooler couple and their friend say it was like a scene from a horror movie. But, in the end, they survived.

They were stuck on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten when Hurricane Irma roared through, destroying nearly everything.

Carol Basch and Dawn and Carlos Berrios set off for the vacation of a lifetime. They had planned for months to spend a week at Basch’s timeshare in breathtaking St. Maarten.

But, just days before they were to head off into paradise, reports of a powerful storm named Irma began to make headlines.

“My gut was saying I don’t think we need to be doing this or going,” says Dawn Berrios, who survived Hurricane Irma.

The airline informed them they would not receive a refund, so they flew out Saturday and for two days they soaked in the beauty of St. Maarten.

Then, on Tuesday evening, everyone was captivated by an unbelievable, but eerie skyline. But, they didn’t realize just how bad it was about to get.

All of them tuned into weather reports on tv as Irma eyed the Carribean.

“This Cat. 5, they’ve never seen a storm like this, and I’m going we’ve got to get off this island,” says Carlos Berrios, who survived Hurricane Irma.

The three had no other choice, they were stuck in paradise bracing for one of the most powerful storms in history.

Irma’s 185 mile per hour winds forced all of them into a bathroom. They couldn’t do anything but hold their breaths and pray.

“As soon as that wind came up, all I did was push what was left of the roof right out and everything else collapsed back down,” says Berrios.

“I thought if you’re going to take me, just take me,” says Basch.

Hurricane Irma battered St. Maarten for hours. The trio managed to make it to the resort’s visitor’s center for safety.

And, when it was all over, only destruction remained.

Paradise may be lost, but these survivors, among many, are standing strong.

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