Virginia Beach vacationers survive Hurricane Maria now face a new storm at home

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) – A group from Virginia Beach is finally back from their nightmare vacation to Puerto Rico, but they’re coming home to more chaos.

It trip began with a group of good friends celebrating the marriage of Isaac Jansson and Christine Schilling.

“It was supposed to be a lot of fun it just ended up being impromptu survivor lesson,” Jansson said.

As the storm hit the 13 of them huddled together in their Airbnb. The next day they grabbed machetes and swung alongside residents clearing trees from the street and spent the next two weeks simply surviving.

“You have no power, you’re sitting there in 100 degree weather with zero wind it’s literally like sitting in a sauna and you’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes,” Jansson recalled.

His wife broke her ankle. Candles provided their only source of light. They stood in line for hours each day to buy food or get cash and bought tickets for flights on multiple days and airlines hoping to hit the jackpot.

“Honestly it just came to a point where I don’t care about the money anymore, I just want people to be safe and have what they need and be able to go home.” Jansson said.

But now that he’s home but his water got turned off – and Isaac’s tapped out but, he’s still in survival mode. When 10 On Your Side went by his house Wednesday he had already gotten the water turned back on and was calling the airlines trying to get refunds.

He lost a week of pay and one friend lost his job.

“In a way I’m still glad we went. I think I’m a better person for having gone through something like that because it really opened up my eyes to what the people there are actually feeling right now,” he said.

The friends have started a GoFundMe page to try to recoup some cash so they can pay bills and for the one who lost a job.

Jansson said he will never go to a tropical island during hurricane season again.