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Pasadena woman glad family out of hurricane danger


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Gord, Pauline and Allison Parrill

Gord, Pauline and Allison Parrill are out of Sint Maarten and safely out of the region devastated by Hurricane Irma.

The three Pasadena natives were able to board a charter flight late Monday night and landed safely in Chicago about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Gord and Allison travelled to the island last month to help Allison get settled away for medical school at the American University of the Carribean School of Medicine.

Erika Parrill, daughter of Gord and Allison, who lives in St. John's, said the family was staying in a shelter built inside the university and designed to withstand the wrath of Category 5 hurricanes, so that’s somewhat comforting for Erika, but her family members are starting to run out of water, food and clothing and power is expected to be lost, so it’s been a tough time waiting for answers.

“They’re feeling really abandoned by the Canadian government,” Erika said Monday.

According to Erika, her parents were scrambling trying to find a commercial flight out of harm’s way, but everywhere they turned they ran into stumbling blocks. She said local authorities didn’t appear to be co-operating with Canadians trying to get home and she’s been in close contact with officials with Global Affairs Canada who kept tellling her there is no evacuation plan in place for Canadians.

They tried to catch a Sunwing commercial flight on Sunday but were denied access by local authorities and an American military plane wasn’t an option for them because Americans were to be given priority status before anybody else.

Erika told the CBC the university paid for a charter to get them — and other Canadians — out of the area late Monday night.

Her sister lost everything she owned thanks to Irma and is going to have to start over when she tries to make a fresh start in medical school in the United States. To help, Erika has set up a GoFundMe account with hopes of raising money to aid with that initiative as well as help get the trio a safe passage back to Canada as soon as possible.

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