NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A mix-up at the airport has stranded a former New Orleans resident, his wife, his two 5-year-old twin boys and his 72-year-old mother-in-law in Turks and Caicos as Hurricane Irma hits the Caribbean.
"I was pretty confident we were going to be out, so yeah, this is tough," said Michael Jackson.
When Jackson's family got to the airport Wednesday, a Delta attendant told the family that the seat for Jackson's mother-in-law was not confirmed and the flight was overbooked.
"Of course, everyone is trying to get out, and when we got to the gate they said there were no more seats available," Jackson said. "I didn't want to leave that gate stand. I felt powerless, but I was trying to rationalize any way possible to convince them that, you know, if there were a seat to come up available that they should provide it to us."
After no one would give up their seat, the family made a pact to stay together back at their resort and ride out the storm.
"I talked to some of the managers, there's over 500 staff members that decided to come here for shelter. For this island, it's a big number, and for them to feel like it's more safe to be here makes me feel like it's even more safe," Jackson said.
Gonzales natives Monica and Martin Miller prayed for safety Wednesday as Hurricane Irma's Category 5 winds destroyed their St. Martin hotel. The Millers were on their honeymoon and forced to ride out the storm with 300 other guests in the hotel's concrete-reinforced conference room.
The hotel sustained major damage. The Martins' room was blown away with all of their belongings. The only way they could reach their family back in Louisiana was through text messages. One of the first messages from Monica to her family read, "Just get me home. This island is gone."
But getting off the island will be difficult. The famous St. Martin airport where people line up on the beach as planes land is in shambles, which leaves their escape off the island in question as Hurricane Jose could also have an impact there.
Remaining stranded is a possibility the Jacksons may also face, depending on how Turks and Caicos fairs.
"The airport is closed until Sunday. Being from Louisiana, I've been through these hurricanes, but hopefully if it doesn't sustain very much damage, they can pull that up to Saturday or Friday night," Jackson said.