Hurricane Irma: Florida pastor tells talkRADIO 'Trees were falling down, houses were on fire... I've never seen anything so scary'

Florida resident tells of 'massive destruction' left after Hurricane Irma

Chris spoke to Paul Ross as the eye passed over the city

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Florida pastor has said he's "never seen anything as scary" as the chaos and destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

The storm crashed into the southeastern US coast over the weekend, and reports of major damage are coming in from across Florida. 

Chris, who runs a church in Lakeland, spoke to Paul Ross as the eye of the storm moved over his city.

He said Lakeland hadn't been prepared to receive the eye of the storm after they had been warned it would pass over them, and  had been forced to drive through the storm to get to his home after learning the roof was loose.

Chris told Paul Ross: "We got the warning the eye was going to come through lakeland. We weren’t prepared for that, and at that point, we did as much work as we could before it hit. 

"I’ve never been through something that scary in my life. Trees were falling down on the road, power lines breaking loose, a house on fire.

"Even though emergency crews weren’t supposed to come out in over 70 miles an hour winds, they were trying to stop the fire and lights were out.

"We had to go through flooding and it was the most nervewracking thing I’ve ever been through."

On the storm's wider impact, the pastor said  "I think it’s gonna be massive. This is only Lakeland. I drove maybe six miles in it, but the destruction I saw was massive.

"We got a lighter portion of the storm compared to areas further south, in Naples, Miami, or Fort Myers. They got the 120 mile per hour sustained winds and 25 inches.

"I think the devastation would be on the same scale as we’ve seen in Texas [from Storm Harvey]"

Listen above.