Bermudian Peter Madeiros yesterday said he was lucky after avoiding the worst of Hurricane Irma as the storm struck Florida.
Mr Madeiros, of Punta Gorda, a small town on the Gulf Coast, said the height of the storm hit at around 8.30pm local time on Sunday. He added he had seen a boat ripped off a lift and thrown into the water by the strong winds. Mr Madeiros said other damage included flooding, damaged properties, and downed power lines.
He said: “We passed one condominium building that’s lost its entire roof.”
He added he and others were working to move the boats of out of town neighbours to docks along canals that had not been damaged by the storm.
Mr Madeiros said: “We’re going to people’s houses and just emptying the refrigerators for them.”
He said his friend’s property, where he and several other people sheltered during the storm, had lost a few roof tiles and experienced some leaking.
On his own property, Mr Madeiros said he had lost “90 per cent” of his trees, but that his house had escaped the storm undamaged. He added: “It could have been a lot worse. We consider ourselves very lucky.”
Mr Madeiros had friends from harder-hit areas coming to stay with him in Punta Gorda. He said: “We’ll get our trailer and trucks, and I’ll get a crew of guys and we’ll go down there and help them out.”
Mr Madeiros said he would do the same for a friend living in the Florida Keys once he was able to return home.
He added: “It’s just like Bermuda — everyone gets on a chain thing and goes along. It’s pretty cool really.”