Locals Caught In The Path Of Hurricane Irma Share Stories Of Survival

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Several people from Sacramento caught in Irma's path shared their stories of survival with CBS13.

"When it hit, it hit and it hit hard,” said Erin Lynch, who lives Ramrod Key, Florida.

She moved to the Keys five years ago, but says she was born and raised in Sacramento.  The plan was to stay in her home, but as the storm got closer, she took the kids and headed north to Volusia County.

"I just didn't want to risk it,” Lynch said. “I'm glad I'm alive and I'm glad I'm with my family, but it's my first home I've ever purchased and I won't lie, I'm very emotional."

Her five-hour journey to her mom's house east of Orlando took 13 hours this time.

"It's one way in, one way out, so that was kind of a nightmare,” Lynch said. “And no gas, there's no gas anywhere!"

Even though she's out the storm's path now, her heart is still in the Keys.

"My house, I believe, is underwater,” Lynch told CBS13. "As soon as I hear it's secure and the roads are clear, I've got to see what I have left."

"Here I'm thinking 'Oh my God, I'm going lose everything you know,’” said Marisol Aguilar.

Originally from Woodland, Aguilar moved to Miami nine months ago, just after her San Francisco wedding in November.  Now working as a nurse at Jackson Memorial Hospital, she’s stuck at work, after leaving her home.

"Our apartment is right on the water so we were one of the first to get evacuated,” she said. "I figured I would be safer here since I don't know much about hurricanes or what to do in a hurricane!

She works on the transplant floor and now she's scared of losing power, which could put her patients at risk.

"It was a little nerve-racking because if the power goes off, it could turn the machine off and their heart would stop pumping,” Aguilar said.

Six hours north of the Keys, Carmichael couple Rob and Martha Nichols started the week on a magical high in Orlando.

"We've managed to go to the parks for four days in a row,” Martha said.

But around Wednesday, they realized the storm may interrupt their vacation.

"At that point, it was really too late to do anything about it,” Martha said.

Now, the parks are closed and with no flights out and no transportation, they're stuck at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

"We kept hoping it was going to turn one way or the other,” Rob said.  “It's been hard for me to have a good time.”

“But if we have to go through one hurricane in our lives, this is probably the safest one we could ever go through!"

People like Lynch and Aguilar are all over the Sunshine State tonight, wondering what they'll find when the storm finally clears.

"I have no idea when I will actually go home,” Aguilar said.

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