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Huddersfield woman stuck in Florida describes evacuation ahead of Hurricane Irma

Krystina Firth is trying to get home after two flights are cancelled

Krystina Firth in Florida

A Huddersfield woman on holiday in Florida has had two flights home cancelled and is hoping it’s third time lucky as she attempts to leave before the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

Krystina Firth, 26, was due to fly back to the UK this weekend but the journey was cancelled on Wednesday this week.

She then booked another flight from Miami to London, which was due to fly on Monday but this has also been cancelled.

Krystina and a friend then booked another flight for £700 which is due to leave Orlando for London Stansted on Friday evening. But they were finding it very difficult to get out of Miami because there are no seats available on trains and car rental companies have shut up shop.

They managed to book seats on a bus only for it too to be cancelled. Thankfully they managed to find a driver who was willing to share a car.

Krystina Firth (on right) and friends in the United States

On Wednesday she and her travelling companions received a mandatory evacuation notice at their Miami Beach hotel and were given until noon to leave the island.

“Our hotel provided us with addresses for shelters inland and bus pick-up locations if we need them - that is as far as the advice has gone really. I actually asked the hotel if it was possible to stay tonight (Thursday) as I was struggling to get transport out of the city, and they advised me to go to a shelter.”

As they left the hotel, workers immediately began boarding up the windows.

Krystina, who works at Heritage in Lindley, said she had seen miles-long queues at gas stations and notices on shops saying they were out of bottled water.

She added: “It’s been really difficult to get through to airlines. Any flight out of Miami today (Thursday) is more than £1000. A direct flight can be up to £8,000.

“In Miami, sand bags are being given out (10 bags per vehicle), gas stations are backed up, toilet roll is running out and people are starting to be picked up for evacuation.

“All shops apart from the essentials are boarded up and sandbags are everywhere.

Krystina Firth (far left) and friends in Florida

“Parasols and sunbeds have been taken away and construction companies seem to be taking down all the scaffolding etc.

“I spent £450 on my second flight which was cancelled, and then another £700 on my flight from Orlando which gets me into London Stansted.

“We are trying to keep high spirits and I’m really glad I’m still with people I know but I am anxious about the journey up to Orlando with all the traffic and all the airports closing.

“There is a strange vibe in Miami, everyone is panicking, even the locals. I’ll be relieved once I’m on that flight.”

Krystina’s sister, Danielle, who has been providing support from Huddersfield, said: “Fingers crossed she will get to Orlando and then a flight from there.”

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