Local families concerned for loved ones stuck in St. Martin

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Watch the report from Vernon Odom on Action News at 4 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2017. (WPVI)

A number of families here at home are concerned for their loved ones who are stranded on islands in the Caribbean.

We spoke to two of those families, who say they are glad to hear that their relatives stuck on St. Martin are alive. But they're very uncertain about when they can return home.

The video showing the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean islands has been horrifying, especially for those who have loved ones vacationing there.

St. Martin has been devastated - no power, the airport wiped out.

Malcom Still, Jr. of Lawnside, New Jersey has spent many hours praying he'd hear from his parents.

"No sleep. You know, watching the news online, on the phone and on the TV. Trying to call us, email - anything. Just that little bit of hope that they might respond," Still said.

Then finally, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, he received a one minute phone call from Malcom, Sr. and his wife Sandra. They were still stuck in their resort, but physically safe for now.

"When I finally heard from them, it was just a blessing to know that they're still alive," he said.

For Karen McNear of Pottstown, it has been the same waiting game of anguish and fear.

"There's no experience like it to know that you have your child and your family members in harm's way, and there's nothing you can do. You feel pretty helpless," McNear said.

Her daughter, Mallory, and boyfriend, Gavin Zimmerman, and his grandparents are marooned at their St. Martin resort with no way out or off the crippled island.

Karen finally got a brief call Thursday morning, letting her know that they were all OK in the face of this life threatening experience.

"When we got that first phone call, just the fact that they were alive was amazing and a miracle. And from there we'll get them out, we'll do what we have to do," she said.

It would appear that they'll have to do something quickly. Both families say they are keenly aware that there are more hurricanes looming that could devastate that region even more.
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pennsylvania newsnew jersey newshurricane irmahurricanePottstown BoroughLawnside
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