Local families speak to Action News after surviving Hurricane Irma

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Local family speaks to Action News after surviving Irma. Christie Ileto reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on September 10, 2017. (WPVI)

The Barges got back Saturday evening, and it still hasn't sunk in that they survived Hurricane Irma.

What was supposed to be a surprise vacation to celebrate his wife becoming a nurse, quickly turned into a fight for their lives.

Michele Butler Barge of Glenside said, "We were scared that we weren't coming back. We had no idea of what was going to happen next. We just heard Irma keep beating and tearing down the building we were in. It was really devastating."

Evacuated into the stairwell of St. Martin's Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Spa,185 mph winds ripped away parts of the hotel.

Michele and her husband's vacation became lethal.

Sandra Still of Lawnside, NJ said, "During that time I was praying - prayed constantly for hours."

At the same hotel, the Stills say it was no easy feat once the storm passed.

"The night you could hear the looters in the street, and the wind was blowing, breaking into cars, and the alarms are going off," Malcolm Still said.

Taken to a shelter days later, the four of them were turned away twice at the airport, until the Air National Guard was able to transport 24 people out of the ravaged island.

Others like Michael brake, from West Chester are stuck in the Caribbean.

"I was at the hospital when it hit. The whole 4th floor window blew through," Brake said.

A nurse at the Schneider Regional Medical Center in St. Thomas, Brake made it to Puerto Rico, where he facetimes with us, and waits for a flight to come home.

"It was chaos, nobody really understood what was happening. And before we knew it, everyone was just pitching in to get patients off the floor as quickly and safely as we could get," Brake added.

As for the Barges, it's still sinking in that they're back on U.S. soil.

"Everything was going through my mind that we were going home, coming home to our families," Michele said.

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