La Crosse native returns home from Florida; her family prepares - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse native returns home from Florida; her family prepares for Irma

Posted: Updated:

A La Crosse native has returned home after living in Tampa for more than 30 years. She is keeping up with the latest developments of Hurricane Irma from the Midwest. Her husband and son stayed in Florida and plan to ride out the storm.

"We were in the process of selling our house so that we could move up here," said Christine Hanjian.

Originally from the Coulee Region, Hanjian had to learn how to prepare for a hurricane.

"If you can visualize it as a big tornado barreling through the Atlantic, thats kind of what we can put into relation into the Midwest," said News 19's Weekend Meteorologist, Alex Wasilenko.

"We would always board the windows, make sure we had the supplies," Hanjian said.

Tampa has experienced close calls in the past, but a devastating hurricane has not directly hit the area in recent history.

"We as Floridians have been complacent," Hanjian said. "A lot of times, it has missed us. Well, this time, it isn't going to."

She has been back in the area caring for her parents. She calls her husband every day to for updates on the preparation.

"It's frustrating, because I have a responsibility here, but I also have a responsibility with that part of my family," Hanjian said.

As Irma approaches, resources in Florida are growing thin.

"My husband went out this morning," Hanjian said. "No water, no gas. Even on Facebook I've been checking--my friends that are there--they're asking if anyone has extra plywood."

Her family, like many others, is bracing for the hurricane's initial surge.

"Storm surge is definitely the deadliest component of hurricanes, especially with Hurricane Irma," Wasilenko said.

"It's kind of like a flood," said Hanjian. "A major flood."

She plans to wait for the storm to pass while hoping and praying for the best.

"I can't do anything until it goes through," she said.

Hanjian said the storm is expected to hit the Tampa Bay area at 2 a.m. on Monday morning. She advises local community members who want to help to wait until the hurricane is over to see what the biggest needs are.

Hanjian is trained in emergency relief. She plans to return to Florida or Texas with some friends to help where she can.



Powered by Frankly