SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - At least 10 people were pronounced dead and thousands more across the northern Caribbean were left homeless as of Thursday after Hurricane Irma blew through the region. A San Diego native who's lived on the island of St. Thomas, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for the last 10 years was one of the lucky ones.
Robert Ba-at and his friends in St. Thomas bunkered down Wednesday morning as Irma came roaring in, and on Thursday, though rattled, they found time to step away from the devastation and tell their story.
"The rain just kept pouring and pouring. It was nonstop," Ba-at said. "All we saw was white. Water twirling, you know, howling of the wind. The trees all fighting for their life--bending, bending 'til they broke."
Ba-at said the storm swept through the heart of the island, taking the electricity and its only hospital along with it. Unsure what to do, Ba-at went to his friend Stuart Scott's house thinking it was his safest option. The scene there, though, was straight out of "Poltergeist."
As of Tuesday, the rear wall of Scott's House was lined with windows and its sliding glass door served as a portal to a wrap-around deck that offered panoramic ocean views. The storm peeled the wall from the hurricane-proof home's foundation and ceiling, leaving it open to the elements. The deck was picked up, crumbled and littered along the hillside leading up to the home.
"I was basically fighting for my life, or thinking about my life, for sure," Scott said over the phone. "My cousin and I were sitting in a laundry room and the door was trying to get blown off and he was holding onto it for dear life."
"We found pieces of other people's homes and windshields in our yard," Scott added. "It's absolutely insane. There's nothing that can mentally prepare your for it."
Scott was able to get his wife and two daughters off of the island before the storm hit. They first went to Naples, Florida, but were forced to evacuate to Georgia, only to be sent away once more and eventually found shelter in Nashville. Both Ba-at and Scott say they feel lucky just to be alive.
Several dogs are in the custody of San Diego County, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
Chilly temperatures and scattered showers started the weekend. Temperatures at the coast and inland communities hovered around 60 degrees with some areas of San Diego County receiving rain during the morning hours.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
Recent assaults by tactical teams on prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico found their imposing heights should stop border crossers, The Associated Press has learned, a finding that’s likely to please security hawks but raise concerns about costs and environmental damage.