Hurricane Maria strands CT couple in Dominican Republic - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hurricane Maria strands CT couple in Dominican Republic

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The Higleys are stranded in the Dominican Republic as Maria bears down on the area (Ralph Higley) The Higleys are stranded in the Dominican Republic as Maria bears down on the area (Ralph Higley)
TORRINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

What started as a dream vacation quickly turned into a scary situation for a Connecticut family.

A couple from Torrington is stranded right in Maria’s crosshairs.

While the Higleys are safe from the storm, they are stranded in their hotel room until Maria’s worst is over.

Ralph Higley and his wife Marie were enjoying a getaway in the Dominican Republic to celebrate their 23rd anniversary.

“It’s been excellent. You couldn't ask for a better place to come,” Ralph Higley said.

In a phone interview with Channel 3, he said everything changed Wednesday morning as Maria moved in.

“All of a sudden you'd start to see this crazy wind pick up and the rain coming in sideways,” he said.

He said the storm started out slowly, but then it got stronger and stronger.

“Basically, as the day went on, the rains have picked up, the hotel personnel basically started shutting everything down,” he said.

The staff at the Rio Republica Resort eventually told guests they had to lock down the entire hotel for safety reasons.

“We are here until further notice. Once we get word from the hotel staff then we can basically leave our rooms,” he said.

The hotel moved the couple from the first floor to a third story room as a precaution. They say they feel safe, but admit it’s a little spooky right now.

“It’s really nerve-wracking now because of the unknown. It’s dark here you can't see nothing, you just see the palm trees blowing around,” Higley said.

The resort's power has been going off and on all night but Ralph knows things could be worse and worries for everyone in Puerto Rico.

The Higleys say their biggest concern right now is getting home to Torrington. They are supposed to fly back Saturday but everything is up in the air right now.

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