Utah Family Staying in Miami as Hurricane Nears

Utah Family Staying in Miami as Hurricane Nears

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Sandra Yi reporting Some Utahns are getting ready to head out to Florida if they're needed in the relief effort for hurricane Wilma.

But one Utah family is already there after a medical emergency forced them to stay in Miami.

Dan Andersen's father, who lives in Utah, was supposed to go on a cruise, but fell ill and had to be hospitalized in Miami. Now the family will be riding out the storm.

Voice of Dan Andersen: "I'm actually looking out the window. We're up on the sixth floor of the hotel here and the trees are blowing pretty good."

In just a few hours, Hurricane Wilma could pound into the southern half of the Florida peninsula.

Dan Andersen lives in Syracuse. He's in Miami, visiting his father, who had to be hospitalized there.

Dan Andersen: "They have backup generators. He's going to be well taken care of."

Public transportation is shut down for the night, so Anderson can't visit until tomorrow. But the family won't find themselves in any immediate danger. Andersen says, he'll be safe in his hotel. But there may be some inconveniences.

Dan Andersen: "They said they will stay open. They may lose power, which means no heating or air conditioning. We'll lose hot water, light."

Andersen doesn't have to evacuate, but mandatory evacuation orders continued in other parts of the state. More than three-thousand people were in shelters across Florida. Volunteers from Utah could soon be on their way to help in the aftermath.

Patty O'Connor/ American Red Cross: "Right now, Red Cross has 75 shelters open in Florida, and as they need more and more volunteers, they'll start sending out the call across the country for who they need and what they need specifically."

The Red Cross trains new volunteers, but the organization is stretched a little thin because volunteers are still helping out with relief efforts for hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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