DES MOINES, Iowa -- Kamilia Lee says she is frustrated, tired, and hungry. She's been stranded on the Islands of Turks and Caicos for nearly a week, thanks to Hurricane Irma.
"You get kind of disoriented and frustrated because of the communication barriers. Just the fact that you should have been home creates a lot of angst. There's a lot of frustration and sometimes being scared," she says.
The Des Moines Native traveled to the Caribbean island on September 3rd for a girls' trip. They were supposed to fly back to the United States on September 7th, but that's when Irma made landfall. Lee says the hurricane was supposed to hit the island later in the week, but the storm's last-minute change in intensity left them with little time to catch an earlier flight off the island.
"The actual hurricane itself decided to take a turn. It went from going about seven miles per hour to 17 miles per hour in a very short span of time," she says. "It was supposed to hit the island on Monday of the following week, but instead it hit on Thursday, so they closed the airport early to ensure that the residents could prepare and it caused a lot of tourists to be stuck on the island."
The storm caused extensive damage and flooding to the hotel where Lee's group was staying, leaving them without clean water, food, and electricity.
Lee has tried four times to catch a flight off the island, and hopes Wednesday will be a success.
"I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. We are 100% standby. There is no guaranteed seats at this point, and so you're not able to assign yourself a seat," she says. "It's on a first come first serve basis."