Rosaleen Murphy thought she was going to be die during Hurricane Irma and decided to call her cousin in Kitchener before it happened.

Murphy made the call from the inside of a cupboard under a sink at the home she'd rented in Turtle Cove in Turks and Caicos.

"I thought, I'm going to die, so if the phone is working I need to talk to someone before that happens," Murphy told CBC News.

Her cousin, identified only as Mary, said the call was terrifying.

"I could hear her screaming," Mary told a CBC reporter in the terminal at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Monday night when Murphy arrived back in the country on an Air Canada flight.

"[She was] describing what was going on and there was nothing, we could do," Mary said, becoming choked up.

When Murphy emerged from the cupboard, she said, the roof and walls were gone.

"There was nothing left at all," she said.

Rosaleen Murphy had moved to Turks and Caicos on Aug. 18 and started a new job as a teacher last Monday. Three days later, the hurricane hit. 

The flight Murphy was on Monday evening was one of three commercial flights marshalled to rescue about 250 Canadians stranded in the region.

Two WestJet flights, 4906 from St. Martin and 4902 from Turks and Caicos, both arrived several hours later.