SAFELY TOGETHER: Danielle Young with her two daughters, Sasika and Alexandra, enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Clunes.
SAFELY TOGETHER: Danielle Young with her two daughters, Sasika and Alexandra, enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Clunes.

Fleeing from the wrath of Ivan

By LEONIE BRANN

CLUNES seemed like paradise to Danielle Young and her two daughters, who escaped the Cayman Islands, 10 days after Hurricane Ivan devastated the Caribbean isle. "These girls are just traumatised beyond belief," the concerned mother said from the safety of her parents, Dell and Ken Stebbings' home. "I don't think we'll ever know how hard it has been on them. They have had their house trashed, their schools trashed ? their lives have been turned upside down." Mrs Young and her daughters, Alexandra, 5, and Sasika, 3, arrived at Brisbane airport with her daughters on Wednesday, ending her parents' struggle to get the family to safety, after the category-five hurricane passed the island on September 12, destroying its infrastructure and sending it into lawlessness. She now faces an uncertain separation from her attorney-husband, Chris, who has stayed behind to re-establish the financial infrastructure, central to the Cayman's economy. The Young's were lucky, they took refugee in a high-rise office building with more supplies than most, and their rented apartment suffered only water damage. Mrs Young said terror nearly took over her composure when looting began. "When they are struggling against fierce storms to loot, you have to wonder how desperate they are," she said. "We will go back to Cayman, but not until the girls can go back to normality." Mrs Young thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Northern Rivers residents for helping get her children to safety.



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