Lexington native in San Juan when Hurricane Fiona hit

She said businesses started to shut down and board up their windows as a precaution. Locals told them to go to the store to buy extra food and water.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:41 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington native was in San Juan to ride out the recent storm.

Shetundra Pinkston was excited when she arrived in San Juan on Thursday afternoon, but after the skies turned dark and rain started pouring down on Saturday, a vacation full of excursions and activities turned into a vacation stuck inside a hotel room.

She said she’s never experienced a hurricane before, so she didn’t think much of it ahead of time.

“So we stayed in and then our flight got canceled at about 4:30 that Saturday so nothing was happening at the time but our flights canceled, so we were like oh, this is getting real,” Pinkston said.

She said businesses started to shut down and board up their windows as a precaution. Locals told them to go to the store to buy extra food and water.

Pinkston said they lost power for about 12 hours, but everyone she spoke to remained calm and handled the situation with grace.

“They seemed pretty prepared because, you know, hurricane season. He was like, ‘we have a solar lamp that lasts about 12 hours, just use it wisely.’ So, we did that. We ate leftover cold food. We didn’t have microwaves or anything. So that was all day Saturday,” Pinkston said.

Nearly five years ago in 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through the city of San Juan. The category one, Hurricane Fiona, caused major damage, but she said the locals in the area were happier than she expected.

“We were actually in a local spot, the day after the hurricane getting breakfast. The locals came in they all knew each other. There was a sense of community They hugged each other, they were happy to see each other and I think it was a relief for them honestly,” Pinkston said.

Pinkston says she made it home safely Tuesday night.