Atlantic Canadians seek info for relatives stranded by Irma – Nova Scotia

Two Atlantic Canadian women are desperate to get information about the federal government’s plans to rescue their loved ones from the hurricane-ravaged island of St. Martin.

Erika Parrill of St. John’s has only had sporadic communication with her father since Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean island on Wednesday.

“He’s been able to get periodic messages to me over the past so many days,” she told CBC News.

‘They haven’t received any aid’

Parrill’s father and mother went to the island to help her sister get settled at medical school. Initially they were staying at a resort, but when it became clear what was coming with Irma and that they couldn’t evacuate in time, they all moved to a building on the campus of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine that was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

“They’re dealing with the aftermath,” she said. “They haven’t received any aid. Water and food are desperately needed.”

Parrill said her family registered with the government before travelling and now she’s trying to figure out what, if anything, will be done to help them.

Destroyed palm trees outside the Mercure hotel in Marigot, on the Bay of Nettle, on the island of St. Martin. (Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty Images)

“I’m just trying to get the message out there that the people in St. Martin are desperately in need of the help of the Canadian government.”

Robyn Berman is trying to spread the same message.

The Halifax resident has been calling everyone she can think of, including Global Affairs Canada, in an effort to get help for her sister, Jo Shulman, a temporary resident of the island who splits her time between it and Ottawa.

Jo Shulman, who splits her time between Ottawa and St. Martin, is one of a number of Canadians stranded on the Caribbean island dealing with the fallout from Hurricane Irma. (Robyn Berman)

She had a text from her sister just before the storm hit on Wednesday and then finally spoke to her Friday afternoon, long enough to know she’s safe and has food and water.

“Literally the phone call lasted two minutes. It was very emotional,” said Berman.

“She said, ‘I want to come home.’ I don’t think I’ve probably ever heard her sound like that. She sounds very nervous, afraid.”

No sense of urgency

Like Parrill, Berman is trying to get information so she can relay it to her family. She said Global Affairs Canada representatives said they’d keep her updated with any evacuation efforts, but so far…

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