Atlanta men rescued from BVIs now helping others

By: Wendy Corona

Updated:

Two Atlanta men who hid in a bathroom as Hurricane Irma destroyed their hotel in the British Virgin Islands are now committed to helping the people left behind.

"We thought the roof was coming off. Windows were busting out. That was our reality for 33 hours,” Andrew Burruss said.

Burruss and Kerman Haynes were on a dream vacation to the British Virgin Islands when Hurricane Irma cut it short. After surviving a direct hit, the two men hiked 11 miles through a destroyed landscape, to the nearest city.

"I went to Road Town just to see if we could even get phone service from there," said Haynes.

They found cell reception, but little government help. A social media campaign organized by friends back home secured a helicopter which took them to Puerto Rico.


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Now safe, the  two men are on a mission for the residents of the British Virgin Islands.

"How can we use our experience now to help these people get more aid?" said Haynes.

Burruss and Haynes say it is taking too long and people are becoming desperate. New images Wednesday show the devastation on the island where few buildings still have roofs and large crowds of people are waiting to be rescued as resources run low.

“Let's not forget that these people don't have fresh water,” said Burruss. “They depend on desalinization plants, and there's no power."

For Burruss and Haynes, this has become a personal mission to help the once island paradise which showed them so much hospitality before the storm hit.

“It should not take a week to get people help," said Burruss.

The two men are still trying to get back to Atlanta, but flights are booked well into next week. They are working with Atlanta-based Delta Airlines, hoping to get home sooner.

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