Chicagoans stuck in path of Irma warn of its devastation

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Hurricane Irma is worrying many Chicago-area residents. Some vacationers are stranded and others have family or homes in the path of the storm.

WGN talked with several people who found themselves weathering this massive storm and they're very worried about what's coming next.

Paul Trujillo rode out the storm in St. Thomas. The house where he's staying is still standing.  But elsewhere on the island -- the damage is devastating.  Patients at the only hospital had to be evacuated to Saint Croix.

"Pressure got so heavy our ears started popping anything that could be moved got lifted into the was incredible," Trujilo said. "I do want to make one suggestion for people of Florida. They should leave because it will be worse than here," he added.

In Florida -- Rosa Linda Roman heeded the warnings.
Leaving the family's catamaran in West Palm Beach she joined the traffic jam of cars slowly heading north.

"I'm hopeful we can get to Ocala, beyond there we're supposed to go on to Georgia and hopefully we have enough gas to get there," said Roman.

Chris Hernandez and Sharon Benavente, a suburban Des Plaines couple, were celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

“It started out beautiful and ended in a nightmare,” said Hernandez.

The couple was supposed to fly home on Wednesday, but they were bumped from their flight. They hunkered down in a hotel -- fortunately, not damaged, while Hurricane Irma barreled through. Other parts of the Dominican Republic weren't so lucky.

Hernandez recorded video of the intense wind and rain on his cell phone.

"It was really scary. it got really dark and the rain was just coming down and the wind," Hernandez said.

"I could just see the palm trees waving...rain in every which direction, I just jumped back into bed and hid under the covers," added Benavente.

That couple is hoping they will be able to fly home tomorrow.

Hurricane Irma continues to churn towards Florida after ravaging parts of the Caribbean and Hurricane Jose is following behind it.

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