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Aussie survives Irma with 30 cats, dogs

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September 11, 2017

Linda Kitchen and her Australian husband, Bradley Frick, didn't lack company when Irma struck.

Australian chiropractor Bradley Frick and his veterinarian wife, Linda Kitchen, didn't lack company when killer hurricane Irma cut a path of destruction through their Florida neighbourhood.

The couple took a Noah's Ark strategy.

When category three Irma's 209km/h winds struck on Sunday, they were holed up with 30 cats and dogs and four chickens.

"It was pretty intense," Dr Frick, originally from Bundaberg, Queensland, told AAP on Sunday.

Dr Kitchen had 27 cats and dogs boarding at her vet clinic in Bonita Springs in southwestern Florida, which took a direct hit from Irma.

So Dr Frick, the couple's two cats, dog and four chickens from their backyard coop joined his wife and the cats and dogs at the clinic.

It was such a direct hit Irma's eye travelled over the clinic.

Despite the ferocious sounds from the wind, the couple's guests were well behaved.

"They were all really quiet," said Dr Frick, who has lived in the US since 2008.

The clinic, a solid structure with hurricane shutters, had sheltered areas so they could take the pets for walks.

The couple held great fears for their home a short distance away so they took a nervous drive to check it out after the winds abated.

To their surprise it was intact.

Their coop was flooded so they were thankful they took the chickens.

Another Australian, David Nichols, a yacht broker formerly from Sydney who has lived in Florida for 40 years, also came through Irma with just minor damage to his Fort Lauderdale home.

"Looks like we definitely dodged a bullet," Mr Nichols said.

Australian golf great Greg Norman endured the hurricane at his home on Jupiter Island, which is a popular place for sporting stars.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to all in Florida experiencing or about to experience this big bad SOB," he posted on Twitter, with videos of the powerful winds.

Australian motorsport identity Kim Green evacuated his Tampa-St Petersburg home and took refuge in New Orleans.

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