ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - A family in St. Paul feels helpless as they try to keep in contact with their retired parents in Florida, who took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian.
"It's pretty overwhelming," said Joe Richie. "It's an emotional rollercoaster because it's just the not knowing part."
Richie feels so helpless here in Saint Paul. Some 1,600 miles away from his parents, Tom and Sandi down in Port Charlotte. The Richies Gulf Coast home took a direct hit from the hurricane. The aftermath video coming out of the region is devastating.
Richie has only been able to speak to his parents briefly a couple of times since electricity and data networks were wiped out by the hurricane. Thankfully, he knows his parents survived but he also knows they are in need of some major assistance with a hole in their roof and water everywhere.
"They said they're fine," he explained. "They said the house, all the stuff inside is just material stuff, it can be replaced. But if anything he's got a new perspective on life. He said, 'I'm just happy that me and your mom are alive.' You know, it could have been a lot worse."
With his parents on their own, and only a small generator keeping the fridge on. Richie and his wife did the only thing they could think of and launched an online fundraiser, hoping any amount of money will help during these desperate days.
"It's going to be a while before they can get any kind of finances to be able to fix anything," he says. "So I figured, you know what, we're going to get ahead of this and start something because I know they're going to need it, and the insurance is only going to cover so much, and they're going to need probably more than that. So we'll just do what we can from here."