A CARLOW mother and daughter are stranded in the Dominican Republic in an area in the eye of Hurricane Fiona.
Joanne and Zara Doyle have been on vacation in the Caribbean country since last Friday to celebrate their birthdays.
The Graiguecullen couple in Carlow Town were caught by the hurricane as it had been predicted to be a tropical storm offshore. However, it was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane by the National Weather Center.
No deaths were reported, but authorities in the U.S. territory said it was too early to estimate the damage as up to 30 inches of rain is forecast for the eastern part of the country.
A terrified veterinary student Zara Doyle told KCLR FM: “We’re in the resort of Secrets Cap Cana just outside of Punta Cana, so unfortunately directly in the line of fire.
“It’s very, very windy here at the moment and it’s very strong. We always have electricity and the hotel room is flooded. It’s all downhill.
“We came here last Friday for a holiday for my birthday. Then we were supposed to depart on Sunday evening but the storm rolled and changed from a tropical storm to a category one hurricane.”
Zara explained that she and her mum had booked a flight for Tuesday, but it was canceled due to poor weather conditions.
“It doesn’t look like we can get out of here until Wednesday at the earliest. We had no idea that was going to happen,” she added.
“Everyone we asked here kept telling us it’s going to be fine and it (hurricane) never hits here and it’s going to move out to sea. But on Sunday the winds were already too strong to get a plane from here.
“We’re in our room and our balcony doors wiggle inward. The air conditioning (system) is out of the roof after falling and there are leaks everywhere. Our room is on the fourth floor.”
Zara said no one was evacuated from her hotel, but she believes people were removed from other hotels.
“There are hurricane sirens every few minutes. We can’t even open our front door. My mother is a little worried. Communication is very difficult at the moment,” she added.
Ms Doyle took to Twitter and asked the State Department for help. She said: “Currently stranded in the Dominican Republic by Hurricane Fiona. Absolutely terrifying and no chance of even leaving the island before Wednesday. Any support for two Irishmen stuck abroad?”
Speaking to the mum and daughter over the airwaves from KCLR FM, Carlow Weather’s Alan Reilly advised them to “make sure you stay indoors in the worst of the winds now and then stay high for the next 24 hours with enough supplies for a couple of days.” “.
A State Department spokesman said they were aware of Zara and Joanne Doyle’s case and were providing consular assistance.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/absolutely-terrifying-and-no-chance-of-even-leaving-before-wednesday-irish-mother-and-daughter-stranded-in-hurricane-hit-dominican-republic-42001438.html ‘Absolutely appalling and no chance of leaving until Wednesday’ – Irish mother and daughter stranded in hurricane-hit Dominican Republic