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Hurricane Irma playing havoc with newlyweds’ travel plans

Brad Pittman and Samantha (Bursey) Pittman were married Saturday and were supposed to go on a Caribbean cruise out of Miami this weekend. Hurricane Irma may put a stop to those plans.
Brad Pittman and Samantha (Bursey) Pittman were married Saturday and were supposed to go on a Caribbean cruise out of Miami this weekend. Hurricane Irma may put a stop to those plans.

MOUNT PEARL, N.L. — Newlyweds Brad and Samantha Pittman have been counting down the days until their honeymoon.

“We’ve been pretty excited about it,” Brad told The Telegram Tuesday. “We were really looking forward to this vacation.”

The Mount Pearl couple, who were married Saturday in St. John’s, are scheduled to fly to Miami on Friday to begin a week-long Caribbean cruise Saturday.

However, like many people from this province planning to travel south this weekend, their plans could be put on hold due to what experts are calling a potentially catastrophic hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is roaring toward northeastern Caribbean islands as a Category 5 storm, with winds up to 300 km/h. It’s threatening to slam into Antigua, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by today.

The system could also possibly pass near the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday and Friday, and Cuba on Friday and Saturday — before potentially turning north and slamming Florida by the weekend.

News outlets are reporting that residents of Miami are bracing for the storm, with bottled water already in short supply.

The Pittmans’ trip hasn’t been cancelled just yet, but they, too, are bracing for bad news.

“Our travel agent told us they’re not sure yet,” Brad said. “It would such a disappointment if it is cancelled.

“It certainly puts a damper on things. After a perfect wedding day, to have to deal with a bloody hurricane is tough.”

If the vacation is called off, Brad said, he and his new wife will need to scramble to make other arrangements to return to Moncton, N.B., where they now live.

Tracy White (left) and her husband Jeff (front), pictured Tuesday at their Punta Cana resort with friends Dana Putt, Jeff Putt and Lori Whelan, say they are not going to worry about hurricane Irma.

A group from St. John’s vacationing in the Dominican Republic told The Telegram they’re not letting a hurricane ruin their time.

“We’re not scared at all. We’re Newfoundlanders!” Tracy White said via Facebook messenger from their Ocean Blue and Sands resort in Punta Cana.

“It’s a beautiful day here today and we know it will likely change by Thursday, but we’ll just take it as it comes.”

White —who is there celebrating her 45th birthday with her husband Jeff Reid, and friends Jeff and Dana Putt, and Peter and Lori Whelan — said their WestJet representative has spoken with them to ensure they are OK. They’ve been given instructions about what to do in case they have to evacuate, she said.

“We have to pack a small bag, just the essentials, passport, change of clothes and put the rest of our luggage in our closet,” she said. “They’ve got us organized just in case.”

But the Pittmans, along with White and her friends, say ruined vacation plans are nothing compared to the devastation the hurricane may cause others.

“We’ll be OK,” White said. “I hope everyone else will be, too.”

 

rmullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: TelyRosie

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