Little Compton man fears worst for daughter who attends school in Dominica
Hurricane Maria, which as of Tuesday evening was listed as a category five storm, is on course for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after already devastating the island of Dominica overnight.
The government in Puerto Rico is rationing water and baby formula to help as many people as possible. Forecasters say Maria could leave the island uninhabitable for months.
A Little Compton father has lost contact with his daughter, who’s a second-year medical student on the tiny Caribbean island.
Jeff Griffin has made so many phone calls to his daughter, Elisha Griffin, that her voicemail can't take any more messages.
"Hey it's Elisha. I'm not here right now,” she said on her voicemail when Jeff Griffin called on Tuesday, with NBC 10 News by his side.
The inbox can usually only handle about 30 voicemails.
"Those were all my messages,” said Griffin, who last spoke to his daughter right before Hurricane Maria hit.
He's counted every minute of the last 24-hours, glued to hurricane coverage on his TV, while hoping there's some sign his daughter is OK.
“This is definitely out of bounds,” said Griffin, who added that Elisha always calls her mom and dad.
“Every day, sometimes twice a day,” said Griffin.
Elisha’s medical school is about 2,000 miles away in Dominica. It's just off the coast off Puerto Rico, but to a father who's worried sick, those miles now seem further away than ever.
"I don't know what happened to my daughter. Did her roof blow off?" said Griffin.
During their last conversation, Griffin said he hoped he had prepared Elisha for the worst.
"She was scared,” said Griffin. “And I said, ‘Well, do your best.’"
Griffin had helpless tears against Mother Nature's category five hurricane.
This is a one-two punch overseas.
First, Hurricane Irma shreds through Dominica, and now Hurricane Maria follows.
The medical school hasn't returned his phone calls. It’s this loving father's worst fear.
"Getting the bad news,” said Griffin. “That's the toughest question."
Still, Griffin is waiting on edge to hear his daughter’s voice again.
“Hopefully, I get a good call,” said Griffin.