Quad Cities couple stranded by Irma return home

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A Quad Cities couple is home safe after being stranded in the Caribbean during Hurricane Irma.

Lori and Scott Rochau headed to the Island of St. Croix at the end of August. They were supposed to be back home Thursday. But Irma had other plans.

The St. Croix airport closed last Tuesday, as the hurricane barreled towards the Caribbean.

Images out of the U.S. Virgin Islands show extensive damage across places like St. Thomas another Caribbean island less than 50 miles south where the Rochau’s were vacationing. They too prepared for the worst.

“We’re in the supermarket with everyone who lives there, we were at Home Depot with everyone that lives there, and able to get lots of ice and food to stock up,” Lori Rochau recalled of stocking up last Tuesday.

The couple put up hurricane shutters at their condo and hunkered down Tuesday night through Wednesday.

“We got a glancing blow,” Rochau said of Irma’s less than destructive path through St. Croix. “We could tell the wind was really blowing hard but I have no idea if it was 50 miles an hour or 80 miles an hour. It was blowing very hard.

Rochau believes she and others on the island were lucky.

“No power but we had water, we were safe, we had good beds to sleep on,” she said.

But the storm’s brute force was still evident.

“We saw a concrete block washed up you know 20 feet from the shore and you think, that's a lot of power behind a wave; that's the smallest thing probably.”

The Quad Cities couple was finally able to head home yesterday.

“And we just escaped in front of good 'ole Irma again coming through Atlanta so, made it,” Rochau chuckled.

And while Rochau says they made the best of a difficult situation it is not a vacation she'll chance again

“It turned out ok for us, but I won't go to the Caribbean in the summer again,” she with a laugh. “I’ll save that for my winter trip.”