Newlyweds’ honeymoon turns to “nightmare” as Hurricane Irma hits Dominican Republic
PUBLISHED: 15:20 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 08 September 2017
It was meant to be an idyllic start to a lifelong marriage.
Instead, the honeymoon of a 21-year-old Norwich couple has turned to utter devastation as Hurricane Irma raged through their holiday resort in the Dominican Republic.
Mariah and Michael Brick, from Great Plumstead, married at Wensum Valley Hotel on September 3 before flying out for a night in Paris the following day.
From France they took a connection to the resort of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, just two days before the most powerful Atlantic storm in history makes landfall.
After their hotel was evacuated the couple spent Wednesday night sheltered in the bathroom of a Belgian couple with no food and only bottled water to drink.
With the mass of the storm hitting the island at 2pm GMT on Thursday, the family of the Bricks waited with baited breath to hear news.
“We got news from them on Thursday night to say they are safe and sound and have returned to their hotel,” said Mariah’s aunt, Andrea Crooks.
“They returned earlier in the evening and said they were in their room. They are now waiting to hear about food as they have not eaten in a while.”
She said the couple were in good spirits and would decide on a way forward on Friday.
Mrs Crooks said the hotel the couple had booked was evacuated because it was “unsafe”.
“It had a straw roof and was a very small hotel, so they have moved inland,” she said. “They went to another hotel which was fully booked, but they talked to this Belgian couple who said they could stay in their bathroom until they could find somewhere else.
“They have had no support from anyone. We are in contact but we don’t want to worry them. They have no food and didn’t have any yesterday because all the restaurants have closed down and boarded up.
“The family has all been really upset,” added Mrs Crooks. “We just want them to be safe. I haven’t slept all night worrying because they have not had any help.
“Everything has been devastation.”
The eye of Hurricane Irma - still a category five storm with sustained winds of 180mph - moved westward off the northern coast of Hispaniola on Thursday morning, its winds striking the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
At least 10 people have been confirmed to have died in the storm.