Hurricane Irma strands Sherman couple on St. Martin island

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- A Sherman couple was vacationing on St. Martin when the eye of Hurricane Irma hit the island, leaving them stranded without any running water.

As the Category 5 hurricane charged toward the island, Dewayne and Stephanie DeBerry crammed into a room in their resort's convention center with 300 other people.

"We had no idea what we were about to face," Stephanie DeBerry said.

But when the roof started to leak, the resort's hurricane supervisor changed his plans and moved spots. Just 10 minutes later, that first room they were in, was blown to pieces.

"They moved us very last minute, and I'm so glad they did, cause we probably wouldn't be here talking to you today," Stephanie said.

A birthday celebration on the island of St. Martin, turned into five extra days without running water, limited food, no beds and no way to fly out.

"The whole roof of that second room was just bouncing up and down, and the walls in and out, the tiles would fall out, the doors would fall off," Stephanie said.

The DeBerrys are now back home in Sherman, trying to grasp the magnitude of what they've experienced.

"It's like life was gone in St. Martin, even though we were alive," Stephanie said.

"It looked like you set off a nuclear bomb on the whole entire island," Dewayne said.

St. Martin's death toll is still rising, with at least 10 people dead.

Since the hurricane came so quickly, there was no way to evacuate. So the 300 strangers with the DeBerrys turned into teammates, using what resources they did have, to stay alive.

"I become a nurse, he becomes a worker, everybody worked so hard, just endlessly with blisters on their feet, hands bleeding," Stephanie said.

"There was a retired engineer there that knew everything about generators, electricity, water, and a preacher there that had connections to get relief aid to the island," Dewayne said.

A team using its connections, even to the point of getting home.

"It just so happened that the owner of our resort was really good friends with the guy that owns Sunwing Airlines out of Canada," Dewayne said.

So they got into a long line at the airport and finally made it back home Sunday.

"The town was devastated, I don't think we'd be here today if it weren't for the workers of St. Martin," Stephanie said.

"So it's just a relief," Dewayne said.

The D-Berry's said once the island is safe, they would love to go back and help the community they claim saved their lives.