ODU adjunct professor desperate to escape St. Croix after hurricanes

Among the people trying to get out of the U-S Virgin Islands are an adjunct Old Dominion University professor and her wife. They are stuck on Saint Croix, and may have to wait days to get out.

SAINT CROIX (WVEC) -- An Old Dominion University adjunct professor is stuck overseas after Hurricane Maria devastated her family's home.

Denise Trombino moved to Saint Croix about two years ago with her wife, Grace Clark.

They were planning to make a life on the island for retirement, but now they're desperate to leave.

"Periodically throughout the day I'll just sit and cry, have panic attacks. It's pretty terrifying," said Trombino.

The couple spoke to 13News Now by phone with limited cell service on Friday. All across the West End, where they live, electricity is out and Internet is down.

They recall Maria as one of the worst storms they've ever experienced.

"We could feel the barometric changes to our bodies," said Trombino.

"It's the worst possible imaginable roller coaster ride," said Clark.

The couple has been in contact with friends and family back in Virginia Beach. They were able to get a flight out next Tuesday.

"For our health and safety, we feel that we really need to get back to Virginia Beach," said Trombino. "I'm 60, my wife is close to my age and during Irma, she broke her wrist."

"I just want to get off the island."

The couple is not only think about themselves, but others too. They expressed feeling forgotten as much focus has been on Puerto Rico's devastation.

"They never talk about us. We are a US territory. And the people here need help. The people here are hard working people, but don't have much money," Trombino said.

Trombino hopes to get St. Croix more military aid so others can get off the island as well.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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