Escape from paradise: See the harrowing rescue of Americans stranded on tropical island by Irma

Hundreds of Americans sat shoulder to shoulder inside a military cargo plane as they became refugees from the chaos of the Caribbean island of St. Martin that was brought on by Hurricane Irma.

Read: First Responder Goes Into the Storm to Pick Up Fallen American Flag During Irma Rescues

They were flown by day and night by the National Guard after enduring the wrath of the hurricane last week.

Some of the exhausted civilians managed to get some shut-eye on the flight to Puerto Rico and all were clearly relieved to back on U.S. territory.

Irma is continuing to wreak havoc in the United States, which has most recently caused massive flooding in Charleston, S.C.

There was also anger and frustration as authorities blocked the only road to the hard-hit Florida Keys, where residents vented frustration at being unable to return to their homes.

NASA photos show islands before and after Hurricane Irma
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NASA photos show islands before and after Hurricane Irma

Virgin Islands on August 25, 2017

(Photo via NASA)

Virgin Islands on September 10, 2017

(Photo via NASA)

Virgin Gorda before and after Hurricane Irma

(Photo via NASA)

Barbuda and Antigua on August 21, 2017

(Photo via NASA)

Barbuda and Antigua on September 8, 2017

(Photo via NASA)


Portions of the highway were opened Tuesday.

As millions fled Irma's wrath, many left behind frightened and forlorn pets, some of which left tethered to trees or porches.

Read: As Journalists Report on Hurricane Irma, Are They Putting Themselves in Danger?

Dozens of pets were rescued after they were left to fend for themselves during the storm. They were taken to a special facility and are now being given proper care and hopefully a new home.

“It's just real disappointing to see people leave without taking their pets with them,” a spokesman for the facility told Inside Edition. 

Watch: Back-to-Back Natural Disasters Spark Wild Theories: 'It's a Judgment on America'

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