LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - People everywhere have watched as Hurricane Dorian intensified to a category 5 storm then proceeded to sit over the Bahamas, pounding the islands with winds for more than 24 hours. Now, all eyes are on Florida as Dorian is expected to continue north.
Long Beach resident Kathy Johnson has been closely monitoring the storm, her concern growing. Kathy’s parents live in Vero Beach, Fla., just six miles from the coastline.
“I’ve been watching this thing non-stop," she said. “With them only six miles, they’re definitely going to feel it."
Kathy said she feels helpless as the storm moves closer to her elderly parents.
“Today, when I talked to them a little while ago, they were already having the outer bands go through," she said. "So, it’s been really windy. They’ve already had a lot of rain go through. [My mom] said all of the neighbors... there’s not a whole lot of people who left. Everybody stayed.”
News crews captured video footage of dozens who stayed in the Vero Beach area prepping for the storm by boarding up their homes and businesses. Kathy says her parents did the same.
“My dad knows how to board up the windows, get the supplies. They’ve got their water. They’ve got their food," said Kathy. “My main concern is them losing power. Where they live, when Irma hit, they had two tornadoes go through there so that is very nerve-racking.”
For now, all Kathy and her parents can do is watch and wait. In the meantime, she’s urging everyone to think about those who will be affected by the storm.
“Just say your prayers," she emphasized. “I love my folks. They mean a lot."
Kathy’s parents, who are 83- and 86-years-old, do not have a cellphone. The pair only has a landline. But, she says friends of hers are going to check on her parents and keep her updated if the power goes out.
She said she plans to make the trip down there as soon as the storm passes.