National News

CT man, mother stranded by Irma finally home safe

Posted September 13

— A mother-son duo from West Haven stuck in the Caribbean islands as Hurricane Irma ripped through is home safe.

Last week, family and friends were desperate to get Tim Wilcox and his 86-year-old mom Eileen back home to Connecticut in one piece.

On Tuesday, they sat down with Channel 3, saying it was a scary experience they will never forget.

"It's just... I'm just digesting it. I don't think anyone ever thinks you're going to die, because you're always hopeful but you could've died," Tim Wilcox said.

Their trip in St. Maarten started out with sunshine and smiles while they celebrated Tim's 59th birthday.

But then, Hurricane Irma came crashing through as a monstrous category five storm.

The Wilcox's vacation quickly turned into a survival trip.

"You just didn't know where to go, what to do or where to go. We were just stuck there," Eileen Wilcox said.

They sheltered in place in the hotel's ballroom and eventually the basement with 200 other guests.

While they made it through the storm, their beloved vacation spot did not.

After days of trying to get on a plane off the island, the mother and son were finally able to leave after their hotel chartered a plane for the guests all the way from Canada to neighboring Dominican Republic.

"It was just a survivor party. It was a survivor meal and we were hugging each other. We were crying and they were singing songs and you know hat, we were all grateful," Tim Wilcox said.

From the Dominican Republic, they flew into Atlanta and finally New York's LaGuardia Airport late Sunday night.

The two say they have no plans of taking a trip to the Caribbean any time soon.

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