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Narragansett woman waits to hear from family in St. Martin

Tracking the Tropics

(WPRI) —The devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in St. Martin has at least one woman in Rhode Island waiting anxiously by her phone.

Elaine Baker of Narragansett reached out to Eyewitness News after she lost touch with her parents, who live on the island of St. Martin.

She had been receiving updates from them through a texting app on and off since the storm caused power outages.

“The worst is over, never want to do that again,” Baker said, reading a message from her step mother. “Imagine a two story building with 14 flats shaking from the wind. Very scary.”

Baker’s father and step mother have lived on the island since 1986, after sailing from South Africa.

The couple had plans to vacation on the other side of the island in just two weeks. They’ve since told Elaine that the area is completely stripped and damaged.

“They are basically eating canned food,” said Baker. “We’ve now heard word that they’re not likely to have a water supply for at least two weeks.”

Communication had been slow and unpredictable because of spotty internet in the affected areas. Baker had been receiving updates from the couple until Friday morning. After 7 a.m. she heard nothing for hours.

Her family members have been using a generator from a nearby restaurant, but says that’s stopped running from time to time.

Baker said it can be hours at a time before she hears from her family, and not knowing is what keeps her up at night.

She’s also heard that looting has become an issue in the area, and feels uneasy about her family’s safety. All of this, while keeping an eye on Hurricane Jose which is on course to hit the island as well.

“I have no way of being in touch with them now, and [I’m] just really, really worried.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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