Floridians Worry About Damage As They Take Refuge In Hotel In Miramar

MIRAMAR, Fla. (CBSNewYork) — Many people rode out Hurricane Irma in a hotel north of Miami Sunday night, as information trickled in about destruction around the state.

As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, hurricane-force winds howled near a hotel in Miramar filled with the weary and worried from all over Florida.

“We’ve been through others, but nothing like this,” said Ida Giarratana, 91.

Giarratana and her 98-year-old husband, Eugene, are originally from Scarsdale, Westchester County. They have since made a life in the southern part of the Sunshine State, but cannot remember being this nervous since they moved there.

“This is the worst, and I wish God watches over everyone,” Giarratana said.

While she and her husband were safe, Giarratana said, “(It) just gets to be too much.”

The hotel lost power for much of the day. One tired mom used a plate to fan her sweating children.

Inside, it was dark and sticky. But at least it was safe.

“The most important thing is we have life, and thank God for that,” said Lourdes Vasquez of Pembroke Pines. “We’re in a safe, secure place.”

Vasquez prides herself on her positive attitude. And it was no surprise that when storm evacuees erupted in song, she took the lead.

But as the group sang and danced, they did not know what kind of mess Irma left in their path.

The roads in Miramar near Fort Lauderdale were blocked by uprooted trees and massive branches, and were covered with palms. Families feared it was just a small sample of what they would see when they finally left the lobby.

“We don’t know what to expect,” said Amanda Rae Carrillo of Fort Lauderdale. “I am really worried about our home.”

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