A Reporter Waited 9 Hours to Make Sure This Irma Evacuee Was Safe

KING 5 reporter Allison Morrow went to cover Hurricane Irma, but she ended up basically being an amateur first responder in Tampa.

“In a weird way, that’s what reporters are sometimes,” she said. “Sometimes we’re the first to know.”

She and photojournalist Ryan Coe helped a New Port Richey woman, Jane Gambrel, who’d been left behind at her mobile home.

“She didn’t have anybody to get her out of there,” Morrow explained. “Her family never showed up and EMS crews were overloaded, even though they were working as hard as they could to get people.”

Morrow said they were concerned Gambrel wouldn’t be able to evacuate without their help.

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“So we just stayed with her, flagged down sheriff’s deputies, called 911, and were there nine hours until she was carted out in an ambulance and taken to a special needs shelter,” she said.

Morrow said she took away a lesson of how socioeconomic status can impact one’s safety during a disaster.

“There are people who don’t necessarily choose to stay,” she said. “We learned that it’s not always as easy of a choice as just ‘I’m staying or going.’” 

© 2018 KING-TV


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