Florida Family Sends Children To South Dakota Ahead Of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall in the United States over the weekend and wreak havoc in Florida. Many residents are desperately trying to evacuate the state, but one couple, with a South Dakota connection, is being forced to make tough decisions for their family.

“It’s hard to prepare for doom when it looks like this out.”

Kyle and Letitia Croce of Port St. Lucie say the last week has been chaos as the state of Florida prepares for whatever Hurricane Irma might bring.

“Everyone is prepared as they can possibly be, and we’re all just kind of waiting. It’s the calm before the storm,” Letitia said.

The couple has water only because a friend had extra cases. The stations that have gas have long lines and banks there are running out of cash.

Letitia said, “It’s getting to be like a ghost town. A lot of people are evacuating. Probably in my neighborhood, half of the people have just gotten in their cars and driven north.”

But Letitia and Kyle can’t leave. Letitia is a NICU nurse who’s on the storm team at their local hospital. She’ll check into work tomorrow where she’ll be locked in. Kyle, an engineer for their county, will help with any recovery efforts.

“As soon as there is an all clear. We will go out and assess the damage and make sure that people can get through on the roads, the culverts are free of debris so that the flooding has a way to get out,” said Kyle.

The Croce’s expect to be without power for weeks. That would be a huge problem for their 8-year-old daughter, who is treated daily for Cystic Fibrosis.

Letitia said, “A lot of those require power. Some of her medications need to be refrigerated, and every day she does a couple hours of treatments that help clear her lungs and help her breathe.”

That’s why Tuesday they decided to fly their three girls to Sioux Falls, where they know they’ll be safe. Right now, they have one way tickets to South Dakota.

Letitia said, “I just delivered them to my mom and my sister-and-law and we’ll figure out how to get ’em back when everything is back to normal.”

The Croce’s are 12 miles off the eastern coast of Florida. As of right now, it looks like Hurricane Irma may shift to the west of them. It’s the wind that they’re really concerned about.

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