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Irma's Impact On New Parents


Last Sunday, as Hurricane Irma approached the west coast of Florida, we spoke with Ben and Susie Black. They were sheltering in the maternity ward of the HealthPark Medical Center in Fort Myers with their kids, 2-year-old old Jane and 2-day-old William.

SUSIE BLACK: We are very worried about going home with our two children to - you know, we're very afraid of what we might go home to.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Susie had gone into labor 10 days early, and the family hadn't had time to board up their house. So we wanted to know how they weathered the storm and how their home held up. So we called them back yesterday.

S BLACK: Hello.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Susie and Ben told us what happened after we spoke with them that morning.

S BLACK: When the storm actually hit, we were taken into the hallways of the hospital.

BEN BLACK: You'd hear it - kind of like a whistling noise. And you'd also hear the trees kind of swaying outside the windows.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: After the storm passed, they were able to return to their hospital room, where they slept through the night.

B BLACK: First thing in the morning, I went home to check on my house. I saw multiple trees down in our neighborhood. Some were even close to some of my neighbors' houses. But it was a relief when we found out that my house was intact.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: They'd lost a grapefruit tree. Their yard was a mess, though, and the power was out. So Susie went to Gainesville to recover at her parents' house. Ben spent the week cleaning up at home and thinking about what preparations to make for the next hurricane.

B BLACK: What I'm going to do next time or in the next few months is I'm going to get storm shutters put in my house. We have no plans on moving, though.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: With the electricity restored, the whole family is moving back in today.

And how's baby William doing?

S BLACK: He's doing wonderful. He's eating and sleeping like a champ (laughter). And his big sister is loving her new role, so we're very happy.


S BLACK: Do you hear him?


S BLACK: He's saying hi.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's 9-day-old William Black and his parents, Susie and Ben Black of Fort Myers, Fla.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUNG FOLKS' "CITY OF THE SUN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.