Russellville family home after riding out Hurricane Irma in Virg - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Russellville family home after riding out Hurricane Irma in Virgin Islands

Klaudia Harris and her family were in the U.S. Virgin Islands when Hurricane Irma hit. (Source: Klaudia Harris) Klaudia Harris and her family were in the U.S. Virgin Islands when Hurricane Irma hit. (Source: Klaudia Harris)
Buildings in the U.S. Virgin Islands were ripped up by Hurricane Irma. (Source: Klaudia Harris) Buildings in the U.S. Virgin Islands were ripped up by Hurricane Irma. (Source: Klaudia Harris)
Buildings in the U.S. Virgin Islands were ripped up by Hurricane Irma. (Source: Klaudia Harris) Buildings in the U.S. Virgin Islands were ripped up by Hurricane Irma. (Source: Klaudia Harris)
RUSSELLVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A Russellville family is finally back home after experiencing the worst of Hurricane Irma. They were on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands to celebrate their daughter's 19th birthday. It was a trip that turned into a nightmare.

"Everything above us was destroyed and everything below us was destroyed," said Klaudia Harris. "They (locals) said that the resort was the most sturdy thing on the island and that if we were going to survive to pretty much stay there, and it turned out to be the safest place on the island."

READ MORE: Russellville woman stuck in Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma looms

As the eye of the Category 5 hurricane passed over them Wednesday, she described the wind sound as a jet engine, nearly bursting her ear drums.

"It was so loud, I hate that noise and never want to hear it again," Harris said.

She said she really began to panic when a piece of the roof almost hit their apartment and the window to their door flew off barely missing her mother.

Their apartment was on top of a hill and they could see debris for miles.

"It was a really hard feeling walking out and seeing all of that around you and realizing, hey, you, you really got lucky this one cause no one should of survived that type of storm," Harris said.

They lost power where they were staying and their apartment suffered some flooding damage.

She learned not only how to survive a hurricane, but that life is so precious.

"You need to protect Mother Nature cause you never know when she will take you out," she said.

It's a vacation the family will never forget.

"I'm so lucky and blessed to be alive because this storm should have took me out but it didn't," Harris said.

Once the monster storm passed, they were fortunate to catch a ferry to Puerto Rico where they then flew to Atlanta.

Although Harris experienced a Category 5 hurricane, she still is considering studying meteorology.

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