BOSTON (CBS) – Hurricane Irma came roaring into Pete Parles’ home in Anguilla when a storm shutter broke his window.
The Boston University graduate runs a beachfront restaurant on the island where he’s lived since 1996.
“It was relentless, pounding and pounding. The house was shaking, the pressure kept changing and my ears were popping,” he told WBZ-TV.
He says it was a sound he’ll never forget like two subway trains passing each other over and over again.
“It’s devastating, every tree was broken. There’s not a leaf on a tree and every power line around here is down,” Parles added.
Irma hammered islands in the Caribbean, including St. Martin, which is now seeing devastating flood damage with a catastrophic mix of pounding winds, rain and surging surf.
Kylie Dube, a Haverhill native, rode out the storm at her home in St. Thomas. She says it was more dangerous trying to leave.
“Right now things are flying everywhere, windows are boarded up,” she said.
With her home on a hilltop she says it became a refuge for others seeking higher ground.
Precautions were also being taken at an orphanage in Haiti including boarding up and stocking up on supplies.
It’s sponsored by Be Like Brit, an organization in memory of Massachusetts native Britney Gengel, who died in the 2010 earthquake. Even a little rain can be devastating to the surrounding community.
“They live in tents, some have roofs made of tin, if it rains it will go right down the hill,” said Cherylann Gengel.
Back in Anguilla, Parles believes the news won’t be good about his business.
“The brunt of the storm is straight out of the north. We’re a north facing beach. I think we’re not going to be happy about what we see over there,” he said.