Palm Springs, CA
"This is different, this is nothing that anybody, native Floridians have seen," says Anna Kourakis, who just landed at the Palm Springs International Airport from a flight in Arizona, she and her family are exhausted from going to airport to airport. Escaping Hurricane Irma wasn’t easy.
"It’s pandemonium at the airport people are crying … we flew from Miami, Nebraska to Phoenix to Palm Springs and that was the only flight we could get out," says Kourakis.
They’re from Broward County … a place expected to be hit hard by the record Category 5 hurricane. But as relieved as they are to be safe they’re worried about a family member who stayed behind.
"We came with my kids without my husband he wanted to stay back, " says Kourakis through tears when she conveys how torn she was about leaving without him, "oh my God, I didn’t to stay or to go if I should because you don’t know what’s going to happen."
Kourakis says if it wasn’t for her cousin, Iona Brazas who has a home in Palm Springs who was there visiting, and insisted on booking flights for her family when she was reluctant to leave, they would have stayed behind. She says it was divine intervention.
"In a very stressful situation she saw clarity and was was able to solidify a plan for my entire family." says Kourakis, adding what they saw during those last hours was scary, "I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t believe it until we went to the store, we went to the store, there’s no water, there’s no gas there’s nothing."
But she says no matter what Hurricane Irma does to the landscape, "You saw the community come together which is you know at a time like that, help each other put shutters on, the spirit she saw won’t be touched,"We’re going to rise above it like we always do, South Florida."