Local News


Las Vegas woman finally home after being stranded by Hurricane Irma

Posted at 10:35 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 02:49:14-04

With Hurricane Maria still pounding the Caribbean right now it's easy to forget that Florida was bracing for Irma just a few weeks ago. A Las Vegas woman found herself thousands of miles away from home and caught up in the middle of the rush to evacuate. 

Arleen Gibson attended a hurricane relief fundraiser at TC's Rib Crib Thursday night. It was personal for Gibson. She's still thinking of all the people affected and harrowing ordeal that left her stranded in Florida for 12 days during Hurricane Irma. 

"I'm just so happy to be home," Gibson told 13 Action News.

After a long awaited visit to her mother's home country, Cuba, she and thousands of passengers were abruptly dropped off early at the Port of Miami as the storm approached the coast. 

"Everyone was frantic. It was like complete chaos!" said Gibson "No one knew where they were going. How they were going to get home."

While Gibson has plenty of friends in Florida, most had already heeded warnings and left. There were no flights, taxis or buses and hotels were booked. She snagged the only available room at a hotel for two nights before a friend drove three hours to get her. She took videos on her phone, capturing what it was like to ride out the storm.

"People were so friendly and caring!"