Wigan actress stranded in Florida as hurricane sweeps region
A Wigan actress has been left stranded in Florida as one of the worst hurricanes in history wreaks a path of devastation across the region.
Amber Hodgkiss, from Hindley Green, is having to wait out Hurricane Irma with the cast members of new Netflix comedy film Like Father.
The actors, including former Winstanley College student Amber, were due to set sail on a cruise ship for the eastern Caribbean for the beginning of shooting.
However, they are now sitting tight in a hotel in the resort of Orlando and hoping for the best after the category five hurricane vented its full fury on the islands of the region.
The danger is not over, either, as Irma is still expected to batter parts of the Florida coast after making its way across Cuba.
The difficult circumstances have created a real sense of camaraderie, with the cast and crew members all pulling together as they hunker down to ride out the storm.
However, Amber says she has also been deeply affected by the massive toll the hurricane has taken.
She said: “The ominous force of Hurricane Irma has the cast pulling together and growing closer as reality sets in that a catastrophic, historic event is unfolding before us.
“My heart and my prayers go out to everyone impacted by the wrath of Irma.”
Hurricane Irma is the largest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean which has also stunned scientists with how long it has kept up it strength.
The natural disaster has created a devastating trail of destruction across the Caribbean and has killed more than a dozen people.
Winds of up to 180mph left much of the island of Barbuda uninhabitable, with up to 90 per cent of buildings on the island almost completely destroyed.
St Martin, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands also face enormous repair bills and clean-up operations after the hurricane’s full fury descended on the region, reducing houses to piles of rubble and foundations.
Florida has been preparing for Irma’s arrival for a couple of days, with those living in low-lying areas told to move away from the coast to higher ground by the authorities.
Amber is currently waiting for the hurricane to subside along with fellow actors in Like Father such as Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer.
Amber shot to notice playing Eleanor Smith in popular children’s drama Grange Hill and has since had roles in Hollyoaks and Bedlam as well as a part in the film The Spell.
She has also been named as one of 20 newcomers to watch by Bafta, appeared in a short film which played at the Tribeca festival in New York and starred in new movie 25 which she also produced.