Mount Olive couple stuck due to Irene

Posted August 24, 2011 6:52 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2011 6:55 p.m. EDT

— A Mount Olive couple is among thousands of tourists stuck in the Dominican Republic, which caught a glancing blow from Hurricane Irene this week, family members said Wednesday.

“It’s the first vacation they’ve had in I don’t know how long,” Gloria Estep said of her daughter, Jessica Bond, and her son-in-law, Jonathan Bond.

The Bonds left Thursday from Mount Olive with two other couples – his brother, Joshua Bond, and his fiancee, Ashley Price, also of Wayne County, and Christen and Buddy Cherry of Duplin County.

They were supposed to return from the Dominican Republic on Monday, but flights were canceled.

“The airport was the worst because everybody had hit the airport, and Jessica said it was just mobbed,” Estep said.

At times, Estep has been able to reach her daughter through Skype.

Estep said the couples went to an all-inclusive resort, but once the storm hit and their reservation time was up, she said room prices to stay went up.

“In all fairness to the people who are there, they’re business owners, but I think that they are really capitalizing on this, you know, supply and demand. We have these people who have to have a room,” Estep said.

Estep said the Bonds told her a taxi ride to the airport that took just a few minutes cost them $100.

Estep said her daughter and son-in-law just want to get home to see their young children, who are staying with her. 

“Their kids really want them to come home,” Estep said.

The Bonds hope to get a return flight Thursday.