Two American tourists were enjoying a two-week trip in the British Virgin Islands when they were left stranded after Hurricane Irma.
Atlanta residents Kerman Haynes, 40, and Andrew Burruss, 32, were visiting the island of Tortola when it was hit by the hurricane. The aftermath left the couple with almost no food and down to their last gallon of water.
“There is almost no aid on the ground here and we are almost out of food and water. The devastation is unimaginable as it was more like a thirty-three hour tornado than a hurricane,” Burruss texted People.
Haynes and Burruss took to Facebook to document their struggle and to plead for assistance.
“There is almost no aid on the ground here and we are almost out of food (uncooked ramen, cookies, peanut butter) and water as are most of the people here. The devastation is unimaginable as it was more like a 33 hour tornado vs a hurricane. We hiked 11 miles to the Capitol of Tortola this morning, which is Road Town, to get cell service, which means we had to leave our little room behind. As of right now, we have no place to stay tonight and people here are desperate,” Burruss writes in one post.
Haynes’ sister Karen, who hails from Richmond, Virginia, explained to People that the couple had to leave their hotel for safety reasons.
“They had to move because it wasn’t safe where they were staying,” Karen says. “There was looting and locals were getting violent because of a shortage of supplies. Andrew and Kerman only have one gallon of water left between them.”
Haynes blamed the British government for its treatment of tourists and locals.
“The Queen, and all of her ‘subjects’, should be ashamed and outraged. There are many foreigners and locals that need aid and evacuation. Many foreigners have been willing to provide their own assistance at their cost, only to be denied – shame on you Queen Elizabeth, et al, for not allowing these people, whom you depend upon for tourism dollars, illegal shell corporations, and tax evasion to sustain this economy,” Haynes writes.
While their friends and family tried to find a way to bring the couple home, their efforts were unsuccessful.
According to a Facebook post, Haynes was able to find a helicopter pilot to agree to take the pair to San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Monday, the couple was evacuated via helicopter from Tortola.