A MOTHER in Radcliffe has spoken of her relief after hearing word from her stranded daughter caught up amidst a devastating hurricane in Florida.

Edna Gibson, aged 82, had not heard from daughter Yvonne Sermak and her husband David for four days, and was fearing the worst as Hurricane Irma swept the Sunshine State.

On last contact with her daughter Mrs Gibson was told that they had been evacuated from their homes on the island of Key West as the storm headed straight for them from the Caribbean.

The storm’s eye later crossed as close as 20 miles from the island, uprooting and snapping off trees, filling waterfront streets with surging seawater and knocking out power.

Yvonne, who was born in Radcliffe but moved stateside in 1989, was finally able to reach out to her mother late on Tuesday night after days of silence.

Mrs Gibson, of Sunningdale Avenue, said: “I finally heard word from Yvonne after she called me from a line that still had power.

“She said that they had been allowed to leave the shelter that they were staying in now the storm had passed and that they were fine. It’s a huge relief.

“I hadn’t heard anything from her since Friday night when she told me that her and David along with many others in Key West had taken precautions for the impending hurricane hitting the island.

“She told me that they were going to be placed in some sort of shelter but then there was silence.

“I received word on Sunday from David’s father in New York state that he believed they were both safe but until I heard her voice I just wasn’t able to relax.

“From what she said, there is a lot of damage on the island that will take a long time to repair but their safety is paramount."

Yvonne, aged 52, was born in Radcliffe before emigrating to the States in 1989.

After first working as a dancer on cruise ships, she now manages two guest houses; The Avalon B&B and Duval Gardens B&B, on the main street that runs through the island, Duval Street.

Speaking yesterday to The Bury Times from a message sent through social media, Yvonne said: “We just got some signal back on the island although it is very limited.

“I have been able to let Mum know that we are fine from one of the few landlines that are still working on the island.

“The Avalon B&B and Duval Gardens B&B fared well through the storm and our home sustained very little damage despite a mini tornado in ours and the neighbours back yard that took out trees, walls and electric poles but thankfully not homes.

“There is also a little water damage but nothing that is really devastating.

“The whole island is without power and water though which is not ideal in 100 degrees Fahrenheit weather.

“Our prayers go out to the people who are situated a few islands north in the middle keys who may be not so fortunate.

“Our Key West community is about neighbours helping neighbours and is coming together as always as one big human family.”

Mrs Gibson, who regularly visits her daughter in Key West, said that many people decided to stay on the island because there would be no point in evacuating.

She said: “Key West is such a beautiful place and it is a real shame that it has been severely damaged by the hurricane.

“Many people on the island decided not to evacuate north because they would not be able to get far enough away from the hurricane quick enough.

“In Key West there is only one road out of it towards Miami so Yvonne didn’t evacuate as by the time they had hit the mainland, the storm would probably have caught up with them.”

Irma, which has now rapidly weakened, is being linked to 11 deaths in the United States, seven of them in Florida.

The storm also left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, where nearly 40 people were killed.

For anyone concerned about a relative or family member in Florida, or other areas, the Foreign Office has set up a hotline at 0207 008 0000.