A BRAYDON woman who battled two powerful hurricanes within a week of one another in Anguilla is hoping it doesn’t put people off from visiting the tropical island.

Trudy Nixon moved to the Caribbean 12 years ago to pursue a new life for herself, becoming a successful writer and novelist.

But over the last two weeks, the 52-year-old has had to evacuate her home and seek refuge at a friend’s house as two of the most powerful storms in history devastated the island.

Anguilla was one of the worst hit when Hurricane Irma made its way through the Caribbean.

And, just as life was getting back to normal, people then had to brace themselves for Hurricane Maria which brought winds of up to 160mph.

But, undeterred by the path of destruction that both storms left behind, Trudy now hopes that the positivity and resilience of people living there will reassure those wanting to visit that the country can cope.

“It was unprecedented to have two category five hurricanes hit the same area within a week and from a mental health perspective, it was terrifying,” she said.

“No one has experienced anything like it before.

“Even a category one hurricane can do an enormous amount of damage, so the fact we had five days to prepare for this category six was our saving grace.

“It is really disheartening to hear people don’t want to visit now because of the storms because the Caribbean is the most tourist-dependent economy in the world.

“Anguilla, St Martin and St Barts is on top of that list. Most people come to the Caribbean in December through to May/June time and that is when the weather isn’t so great where they live.”

Trudy, who starred in BBC’s An Island Parish series about life in Anguilla, doesn’t know if she will have electricity for the next four to six months due to fallen poles, with many residents relying on generators to get by.

Anguilla is also facing the further problem repairing roof damage to hundreds of homes, as well as dealing with flying debris in the aftermath of the storms.

“The level of support we have from tourists wanting to send money, aid, generators, rebuilding materials has been incredible,” Trudy said.

“The whole thing was frightening but it is part of life here.

“Oddly, Anguilla is a bit like Wiltshire. It is a small local community of people and you know the families and people know you.

“I lived in London for a while and I never knew my neighbours whereas in Anguilla, people look out for you.

“Tourism really is the most helpful thing to people here because we need to get the economy rolling again.”