Two Americans on a dream romantic vacation together are now trapped in the British Virgin Islands and fearing for their lives after Hurricane Irma devastated the hotel where they were staying.
Friends of Kerman Haynes, 40, and Andrew Burruss, 32 – both from Atlanta – have been sharing desperate Facebook posts trying to get them out of Tortola, the capital.
Burress – via tex message – tells PEOPLE, “There is almost no aid on the ground here and we are almost out of food and water. The devastation is unimaginable as it was more like a thirty-three hour tornado than a hurricane.”
On Sunday night, he wrote on Facebook: “There is almost no aid on the ground here and we are almost out of food (uncooked ramen, cookies, peanut butter) and water.”
Kerman Haynes, a real estate broker and Andrew Burress, a software salesman, were wrapping up a two week trip to the Virgin Islands when the eye of the storm moved over Little Apple Bay where they were staying.
The hotel suffered major damage and had no supplies, so the couple decided to hike eleven miles to Tortola in hopes of finding a way home.
“They had to move because it wasn’t safe where they were staying,” Haynes’ sister Karen, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, says.
“There was looting and locals were getting violent because of a shortage of supplies. Andrew and Kerman only have one gallon of water left between them.”
Family and friends back home in the U.S. have been trying to charter a plane or helicopter to get them out but so far have had no luck. Haynes says they found a pilot in Puerto Rico willing to make the trip but he says he’s been unable to get permission from the government in Tortola to land at the airport.
Karen Haynes says it’s been tough on her family as they try to rescue her brother.
“Oh my gosh it’s been incredibly difficult. You just have this helpless feeling all you have is the phone,” she says. “We don’t know anyone on the island. We’ve been in touch with the embassy but they’ve had trouble with communication and they have no idea when they may be able to help with a rescue.”
As of Sunday afternoon the couple was in The Moorings Marina in Tortola and posted to Faceboook: “As of right now we have no place to stay tonight and people here are desperate. If you have a moment, please reach out to anyone who can help. We are not the only Americans desperate for help and we want so bad to come home.”