Brendan O’Carroll describes terrifying night as Hurricane Irma hit Florida
Irish comedy star Brendan O’Carroll has said enduring Hurricane Irma was “like getting punched continuously” with “the roar so loud it’s a 747 jet”.
The Mrs Brown’s Boys actor was in his Orlando home when Hurricane Irma passed.
The storm has caused devastation to millions of homes across the Caribbean and more than 6.5 million people evacuated their homes in Florida once it was known it was on route.
O’Carroll left it too late to leave despite his family back home in Ireland urging him to get out. In the end he had to sit and take cover in his home and wait for the storm to pass.
He spoke to the Sun about the frightening ordeal.
“I’ve had many a stormy night in Finglas with high winds and the rain hopping off the windows. But Irma battered us for nearly 15 hours.
“At one point it got so bad I went looking for my red shoes to join Dorothy in Oz.
“My family wanted us to leave but we initially thought the hurricane was going up the east coast about 100 miles from us.
“But by the time it changed course to the west and inland, all the airports were closed.
“Roads going north had a 50-mile gridlock so the only thing to do was sit tight and hope for the best.
“The best description was like hearing a huge train coming at your house, it’s getting closer and closer and louder, and by the time it reaches the house, the roar is so loud that’s it’s now a 747 jet.
“We were terrified. One of those times that just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse it did.
“Like getting punched continuously and just when you think it’s stopped you realise they’re just changing fists.”
Hurricane Irma has claimed more than 50 lives across the Caribbean and the southern US states. It has destroyed power cables and homes leaving millions facing a struggle to put their lives back together.
O’Carroll was in his Florida home writing a new Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special for the BBC.
He spends half the year in the warmer climate and half back home in his native Dublin.
He said: “We’re just outside Orlando. We were always Disney people anyway, people would say I live my own little Disney life anyway. It’s the magic of the area.
“It’s 84 degrees (29C) and glorious. It’s only now that I realise what people mean by Seasonally Affected Disorder. The feeling of getting up in the morning to a blue sky is amazing. It really does cheer you up.”
O’Carroll admits he was very lucky Hurricane Irma did little damage to his home and recognised the devastation others have suffered.
He said: “The weird thing is the way the hurricane just hangs there, roaring for hours. It’s so loud, even normal conversation is impossible. You’re looking out the window at trees bent over, their tops touching the ground. And it’s really nerve wracking because it’s so dark.
“We were very lucky considering we had the eye hit us directly and when you see how some unfortunate families lost everything.
“We feel blessed. Damage-wise, the garden is cleared of trees and plants, but otherwise no significant damage other than a few roof tiles lost.”