Two Colorado women stranded, riding out Irma

Turks & Caicos Islands expect 20-ft storm surge
Posted at 10:03 PM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-08 21:38:47-04

DENVER -- Two Colorado women who went Turks and Caicos on a business trip were stranded by Hurricane Irma and are now riding out the storm on the island.

Rose Chamberlain and Kelsey Priest are now hunkered down in a cement house on the top of a hill.

"We're going to just ride the tide," said Chamberlain, in a Twitter post.

Both women are documenting what they worry could be their last days, posting their fears on social media, as tropical-force winds pound into the islands.

"You don't know how to feel, you don't know," said Priest. "I had to call my dad and tell him good bye because I don't know if I'm going to make it."

The women traveled from Colorado to Turks and Caicos on a business trip one week ago before any word of a hurricane.

"We're Colorado girls," said Priest. "Bring on a blizzard, we've got it, but this is just something we never imagined we would have to deal with."

Since Sunday, they have tried everything they can think of to get a flight off the low-lying islands, where storm surges could reach 20 feet, twice as high as some of the islands' elevations.

"Then we called back Monday, we called back Tuesday," said Chamberlain. "Nothing. And then we got our hopes up Wednesday, but they closed the airport."

For now, they are staying with locals who are waiting out the storm with no power or running water.

"The windows are all boarded up," said Chamberlain, a mother of two from Longmont, who is trying to stay calm. "We have pool floaties. We're going to sleep in our pool floaties."

Priest said she wants her family in Park to know that she is doing everything she can to make it back home, removing debris from the area and stocking up on food, water and emergency supplies.

"To my friends and family, please know I love you," said Priest in a Facebook post. "I would do anything for you and I can't wait to see you soon. I'm going to need a lot of therapy after this."