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Hurricane Irma: Couple’s joy as UK troops help rebuild ravaged home after visit from Boris | World | News

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Dorothy Nibbs, 59, and her 73-year-old husband Alvin were left homeless after Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, ravaged the British Virgin Islands earlier this month.

The couple have been sleeping in a relief centre after they were left without anywhere to live.

Mrs Nibbs was visited by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson during a two-day tour of the Caribbean last week as he looked to assess the damage, and told her “not to worry”.

She said: “I took his word for it… I knew he would do something good for me.”

On Saturday, Royal Marines and Royal Engineers turned in Road Town, Tortola, and began to try to help the couple salvage what is left of their home, bringing with them a rope and a UK aid shelter kit.

Mrs Nibbs said: “The governor came to me and said he was sending them over to fix my house and in around 15 minutes 11 soldiers were there.

“I was the happiest person on earth, I was very sad because I lost everything, so when I saw they came up to fix my house I was so happy about it.”

She said when the soldiers turned up they told her theirs was the first house they have actually worked on, as previously they have only provided the equipment for people to do it themselves.

Mrs Nibbs said she wanted to hug and kiss the troops, adding: “If I could cook them good Caribbean food I would, but my stove is full of water. They are nice men, I love them.

“They did a good job by putting on the tarpaulin and talking to me and cheering me up at the same time, they are very good men. I respect them.”

Mrs Nibbs has been left “very, very happy” with the “excellent” work carried out by the troops.

In the aftermath of Irma all that was left of their home was a couple of walls, with little trace of their life before the hurricane hit visible.

With Tropical Storm Maria expected to turn into a hurricane in the next few hours, Mrs Nibbs admitted she is “very worried” about further damage to the islands.

The French government has issued a hurricane warning for its Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe as Tropical Storm Maria moves west-southwest, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

France also issued a tropical storm warning for Martinique due to Maria, which the NHC expects to reach hurricane status over the coming hours.


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