Colorado family escapes Philippines hours before supertyphoon Haiyan

11:26 PM, Nov 11, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

DENVER - A Colorado family arrived safely back home Monday evening.

Matt and Maria Carmen McDonough, along with their 7 month-old son Marcus, barely escaped from the Philippines, just hours ahead of supertyphoon Haiyan.

The arrival of Southwest flight 322 from LAX marks the end of a dream vacation that turned into a nightmare.

"We knew a storm was coming," said Matt McDonough.

Just days earlier, were enjoying sunshine and family time in the Philippines.

"I'm not okay because I'm worried about my family," said Maria Carmen McDonough.

Most of Carmen's relatives live in Tacloban, the city in the direct path of Haiyan.

The McDonough's almost had to ride out the whipping winds and 20-foot walls of water.

Packed planes and skyrocketing ticket prices made flying out of Tacloban nearly impossible.

"Finally it came through that we had the flight," said Matt McDonough.

They caught last plane leaving the city, as it was already being hit by Haiyan's outer bands.

"It was starting to rain and winds," said Maria Carmen McDonough.

Maria Carmen's family lost everything, but their lives.

"They are all safe, alive. But no food. No house," she said.

Even the sturdiest of buildings are destroyed.

"There's a lot of people in need there," said Matt McDonough.

Debris is piling up, and so are the bodies.

"There's dead humans, animals, everywhere," he said.

The relief of coming home to Colorado, is tempered by sadness and fear for what lies ahead.

"I don't know how we would have done there, having a young child. I know that we can help them better being here," he said.

Matt McDonough is a volunteer for the Red Cross.

He and his family are urging everyone in Colorado to do what you can to help those affected by this storm.

Here is a list organizations providing help for Philippines typhoon victims:

Philippine Red Cross 
World Food Program
Philippine branch of Unicef 
Catholic Relief Services 
Caritas Manila 
Save the Children 
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) 
Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development 
Gawad Kalinga 
The mGive Foundation Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief Fund: Text AID to 80108 to make a $10 donation

To Find a Loved One in the Philippines -

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

Most Watched Videos