ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Thanks to the St. Pete community, a family trapped in Puerto Rico will finally be brought back to Florida.
Katharine (Kat) Dougill-Tzadik, Orian (Ori) Tzadik, their 4-year-old daughter Maya, and 2-year-old son Noah live in Rincon, Puerto Rico. They moved to Puerto Rico last year from St. Pete for Ori to take a job opportunity.
Hurricane Maria devastated the area around their home in Rincon, Puerto Rico and left the family with no running water or food supplies. They’re even boiling rain water to drink.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman heard about the family’s situation and immediately called Tropic Ocean Air, which ocassionally operates out of Albert Whitted Airport. The company agreed to fly the family and their large, black lab Poe back to Florida for free.
Tropic Ocean Air used a seaplane to land in a small strip Friday to bring the Tzadik family to St Croix. The family landed safely there late Friday morning. They're expected to arrive back to Florida on Saturday morning.
The area where the family lives is inaccessible by roads or bridges because of the devastation from Hurricane Maria.
The only way family and friends had been able to contact the Tzadik family was through spotty satellite phone connections.
A group of friends in St Pete, and Tzadik’s mother in California begged for help on Facebook to bring the family back to Florida. They can’t wait to have them home, but also worry about the thousands of other families trapped on the island.