THE family and friends of an Altham couple feared for their lives after their Mexican holiday resort was devastated by Hurricane Wilma.
Rachael Farricker, 39, who works for Elevate East Lancashire, and her husband Carl set off on a two-week trip to Cancun on 6 October.
But days before they were due to return, their paradise holiday became a nightmare as they were forced to abandon their hotel, taking only a blanket and a pillow with them.
They sheltered in a sports hall where they were fed on Army rations until the hurricane damaged the roof and walls and they were forced to keep moving to different shelters.
While the drama was unfolding, Rachael, of Corn Mill House, was able to ring her mum Ruth Collinson to tell her what was happening.
Ruth, 64, of Wiswell, said: "I heard from them on Monday and they are both all right. They are trying to fly out to the Domincan Republic where they will stay in a five-star hotel where they can have a rest and a shower.
"They are hoping they will then come back home, but it all depends on what flights they can get.
"Rachael is a very sensible, feet-on-the-ground kind of person. She is very strong but it has still been very worrying. They had to leave the first sports hall they went to as rain kept coming in through the walls.
"When she rang me on Saturday she said people were having to sit back-to-back and it was incredibly hot. She had to ring me from the toilets as it was the only place where it was quiet. The main thing now is that they are safe so I am obviously very relieved."
Rachael has also spoken of the swamp-like conditions which developed and of telegraph poles blown over.
Kathleen Houghton, communications director at Elevate East Lancashire, said: "We were worried about them all weekend. She was in a nice hotel before they were evacuated.
"We are now looking forward to seeing Rachael again and she will no doubt have lots to tell us when she comes back."