Mount Olive couple experiencing Irene for second time

Posted August 26, 2011 5:28 p.m. EDT

— A Mount Olive couple was preparing Friday for their second taste of Hurricane Irene's winds and rain.

Jonathan and Jessica Bond were vacationing in the Dominican Republic last weekend when Irene grazed the island nation. They were among thousands of tourists stranded by the storm.

"I've been through Fran. I've been through Bertha," Jonathan Bond said Friday. "I felt like (those storms) had a lot stronger winds than this one is probably going to bring. Now, of course, it strengthened a little bit since it passed over the Dominican, but the rain was just really got us while we while there. It just did not let up, and it was hard, hard rain."

The Bonds flew back to North Carolina on Thursday, three days after originally scheduled.

They said that the biggest challenge they faced in the Dominican was that many local businesses significantly raised their prices once tourists were stranded.

The resort where they and the two couples vacationing with them stayed, for example, jacked up room rates after their reservations were over, despite the fact that they couldn't leave because of Irene.