Fort Smith Native Describes Hurricane Irma Damage In St. Maarten

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ST. MAARTEN (KFSM) -- Hurricane Irma is leaving behind destruction for the St. Maarten Island and one Fort Smith native said the damage is unlike anything he has ever seen.

Adam Shaw and his wife live in St. Maarten and had returned just a few days before the eye of Hurricane Irma hit.

"There's no power, no water," Shaw said. "[There's] destruction everywhere."

Shaw has taken multiple photos and videos to share with his friends and family the devastation the hurricane left behind.

In one video, Shaw describes the moments before the eye of the storm hit St. Maarten. You can even hear how loud the wind is despite his apartment's concrete walls.

"We were terrified during the storm," Shaw said. "The building, even though it's built from concrete, it was moving a lot. It was swaying and honestly felt like really bad turbulence in an airplane."

Another video showed the damage inside an apartment building on the island.

"We're in a bit of a shock," Shaw said. "This is our first hurricane. My wife and I both helped clean up from tornadoes in Fort Smith, Van Buren and Joplin in the past, so we've seen that destruction. This is that destruction but across 40 square miles."

As Adam looked across what was left of the island, he says he saw multiple boats that had capsized and predicts there could be more under the water.

"It just destroyed everything," Shaw said. "Cars were airborne, so there are a number of cars that had to be cleared from roadways, as well as other debris."

Now, Shaw is warning those in Florida and other areas who may be hit next.

"If anyone can get out of the way of this storm, do it," Shaw said.

Shaw and his wife's apartment was damaged, but he said not as bad as other buildings. He said even with hurricane shutters and hurricane rated doors on most structures, they couldn't withstand the strength of Hurricane Irma.

The Shaws are now trying to fly back to Fort Smith, but he said he is unsure how long that could take.