Quincy resident returns from Philippines

A Quincy resident just returned home Sunday after spending more than a week in the Philippines.

The trip was a planned vacation for Mitch Lamb.

Little did he know a typhoon would hit the country three hours after he arrived.

KHQA's Rajah Maples

spoke with him about what he witnessed and will never forget.

Mitch Lamb's flight arrived in Manila three hours before Typhoon Haiyan caused death and destruction 350 miles away.

"Extreme turbulence," he said. "We didn't know what it was. Imagine 1000 people on this plane. We had no idea. We land, and the airport is frantic with people running around."

He took a picture of a radar on a television screen of the devastating storm moving into the islands. Haiyan eventually caused a massive power outage, so communication depended on word of mouth.

"Their TV stations, radio and newspapers were out," Lamb said. "They told government officials and electricians working on things and telephone people to tell everyone they knew and to go to the larger cities to tell government officials in bigger cities what was going on."

Lamb said some parts of the Philippines will be without power for 45 to 60 days if not longer.

"The people are very resilient," he said. "They're used to not having power."

Lamb didn't see any death and destruction first-hand, but he did see a strength in the Filipino community like no other.

"Being an American, we take a lot of granted," Lamb said. "They don't have a whole lot, so what means most to them is family. If one of their family members is gone, they're frantic. That's their main livelihood is their family. All you could do is put your arm around 'em and say everything will be okay."

Ironically enough, Lamb arrived in the Philippines three hours before the typhoon hit.

He arrived back home in the midwest Sunday on the day multiple tornadoes hit the area.

He plans to stay home for the time being.