BY PETRU SAAL
South African Greg Badenhorst is one of the diehards who decided not to evacuate his Fort Lauderdale home as Hurricane Irma pounded Florida in the US with high winds, storm surges, and torrential rain.
The 40-year-old Capetonian told The Times he did not want to miss out on the experience like he did last year, when a smaller storm hit Florida while he was away in New York.
But in hindsight, perhaps it was not the greatest idea.
“I have never experienced such bad weather,” he said. “But the experiment is done. I can’t even leave my house now.”
He said media coverage of Hurricane Irma had been “greatly hyped up” and last week he watched people fighting for water and gas at supermarkets with empty shelves.
“Irma has been greatly hyped up in the media like you wouldn’t believe it. Last week that was all everyone was talking about,” said Badenhorst.
By Sunday evening, South African time, most of his electrical appliances had stopped working. Luckily the lights were spared, said Badenhorst.
“The wind was blowing so hard, I couldn’t go outside to take any footage of the storm,” said a disappointed Badenhorst.
“I was alone in my house. Everyone else had left. Fort Lauderdale was a ghost town – literally”.
Badenhorst moved to the US five years ago and works as an estate manager in Florida and New York.
He said he tried to stay in regular contact with his concerned family back home while communication lines were still open.
Though he had wanted to experience the hurricane, now he wished it would pass. “I’ve had enough of Irma for now.”