September 16, 2017 9:02 pm
Updated: September 16, 2017 9:03 pm

Toronto couple recounts their horrifying ordeal during Hurricane Irma

WATCH: Toronto couple recounts their horrify ordeal during Hurricane Irma


Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction in both Florida and the Caribbean. Hundreds of Canadians were affected, riding out the massive storm and picking up the pieces in the aftermath.

For those looking to get out of the ravaged regions, the wait was long and frustrating.

Mike Moriarty and Meryl Zavitz were visiting St. Maarten when hurricane Irma hit. In an interview with Global News, they referred to Irma as a monster, packing winds at 185 miles an hour.

WATCH: Canadian stranded in St. Maarten tells Global News it’s ‘hard to know who to be frustrated with’

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“Prayer, fear… hoping the building we were [in] was as strong as it was. It was concrete. I was worried about storm surge undermining the building, but fortunately we did not have to worry about that… the storm surge was not as bad as they expected,” Zavitz told Global News.

But riding out the storm, it appears, was the least of their worries.

READ MORE: Canadian med students who fled St. Maarten urge Ottawa to help peers stranded by Irma

Moriarty and Zavitz told Global News it was the aftermath and the desperate journey home that had them scared and frustrated.

In several text messages to his sister Monique Balmforth (who spoke to Global News to get the word out and get the Canadian government’s attention over the plight of her brother and sister-in-law), Moriarty urged family and friends to get in touch with Canadian officials to let them know there were Canadians stranded in St. Maarten, but no help was coming.

“We got out as much information as we could and we were hoping to get back something from the government or the airlines, just saying a message… clear direction, something other than ‘you are in our prayers and best wishes,” Moriarty said.

WATCH: Hurricane Irma batters Caribbean island of St. Maarten

Moriarty and Zavitz say they are sharing their story in hopes that it will prompt the Canadian government to formulate a better plan that aims to get information out to Canadians more promptly and efficiently.

They say they are happy to finally be home and will be focusing on spending time with family and friends.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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