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Utah Couple Tells of Living Through Hurricane Ivan

Utah Couple Tells of Living Through Hurricane Ivan

Posted - Sep. 21, 2004 at 9:16 p.m.



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John Daley ReportingA Provo couple is thanking their lucky stars. Last week they were on an island in the Caribbean when it suffered a direct hit from Hurricane Ivan. Munro and Rachel Murdock and their one-year old son made it through Hurricane Ivan okay; their home on Grand Cayman Island did not.

Munro Murdock, his wife and son just got back from Grand Cayman Island where he was working as a manager for a Sandy clothing company. They're not sure when they'll be back because the island was hammered last week by Hurricane Ivan, which they say makes an ordinary Utah blizzard look mild by comparison.

Munro Murdock: "It's nothing like a blizzard, because you just see it ripping things apart and you can see the force of it."

It looked like the Category 5 storm would bypass the island, then it took a turn and hit Grand Cayman head on. The Murdocks and about 50 others took shelter in a nearby office building; the scariest moment was when a window suddenly blew out.

Rachel Murdock: "Just all the men just ran in there and they were slamming file cabinets against it to get it closed. And I didn't know if it had broken or what. That was the scariest point in the hurricane, not knowing if the windows were going to hold."

Munro Murdock: "Some people who we were with thought they were going to die."

The storm's power was awesome; no one died, but a fourth of the 40,000 people on the island lost their homes.

Rachel Murdock: "It would lift whole condo complexes off the foundation 100 yards and drop it right in the middle of the main road."

Munro Murdock: "Just unbelievable aftermath. No electricity, no water for five days, waiting at the airport for 10 hours just trying to get off the island. It was an unforgettable experience, seeing people who lost everything, some people just carrying two bags saying this is all I have left."

Rachel Murdock: "It was a great learning experience and something where you can say, hey I survived a category five hurricane, but I don't want to do it again."

They say sustained winds were at 165 miles per hour with gusts up to 208. Waves were at 15 feet. The couple says before Ivan, Grand Cayman Island was green and lush -- after they didn't see a single leaf on a tree.

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