Hurricane Irma survivor from High Peak tells of ‘unnerving’ wait

Jo Delay and her partner Paul both live in St kitts and have just survived Hurricane Irma
Jo Delay and her partner Paul both live in St kitts and have just survived Hurricane Irma

A Chapel High School pupil who now lives in the Caribbean says the worst part about hurricanes is the not knowing.

Joanne Delay has just had survived the worst storm on record in nearly 100 years as Hurricane Irma passed over her home in St Kitts.

The 44-year-old, who has been living out there for nine years, said: “We have been so lucky. Some of the neighbouring islands have really been devastated but where we are it has been bad and it was scary but we still have our house.”
The category five hurricane, which has so far killed 29 people since September 5, has left a path of destruction in the Caribbean and then in Florida.

Jo, who also went to Buxton Girls School and worked for the British Red Cross before she emigrated, said: “When we knew it was coming we stocked up on supplies such as batteries, water and tinned food.

“We made our house hurricane proof and took in our friends, neighbours and even some students who were over on exchange from America.

“The storm arrived at night and it was pitch black.”
Jo said it was just a waiting game then. “It was so unnerving not knowing what was going to happen and you would hear a big bang or worse a funny creak you have never heard before and you worry if the roof is going to fly off or the timbers give way - that is the worst part.”
After Irma, Hurricane Jose was on its way so it was only after that storm, which missed most of the island, passed the clear-up process could start.

Jo’s Mum Glenis Gil, who lives in Chapel-en-le-Frith, said: “There is nothing worse as a parent knowing this is happening on the other side of the world and there is nothing you can do to stop and you are constantly waiting for the next update to make sure everyone is okay.”

The British Red Cross are on the scene helping survivors, to donate click here.