An Irish family living in Turks and Caicos welcomed a baby girl just ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma.

Joe Ryan and his wife Claire McAvinchey have lived in Turks and Caicos for seven years.

Yesterday, they left their home for the safety of the Seven Stars Hotel at Grace Bay at Providenciales with their three-year-old son Oisin, and new-born baby Maebh.

He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that their home is in a low-lying area, so they were warned they were likely to face flooding.

They left their home before the storm hit, and they are still waiting to assess the damage.

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He said: "Obviously we’ve never had a storm like this come through here before, so we don’t really know what to expect, but based on what we’ve seen on TV from Saint Martin and Barbuda, we’re really hoping that it doesn’t hit us that hard.

"Right now there’s a lot of debris, there’s a lot of trees looking like they’re ready to snap, and that’s probably what’s going to happen in the next few hours."

Mr Ryan said their baby was due to arrive last Saturday, but she was late, "and we were obviously getting anxious as we could see the storm coming near, but luckily Claire went into labour yesterday and delivered the baby, so in that sense we were very lucky that she didn’t have to stay in a hospital tonight – it was just in the nick of time".

He added: "We’re delighted now we’re all together in the hotel."