Meriden residents stranded in Caribbean finally returning

Meriden residents stranded in Caribbean finally returning


MERIDEN — The six Meriden residents stranded on the Turks and Caicos islands following Hurricane Irma boarded a plane back home Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s such a relief,” said Kalyee Doll, daughter of Phil and Angela Massicotte.

The couple was in a resort on the island when the hurricane struck last week, along with Meriden Tax Assessor Deborah Zunda, city parking department employee Denise Keating and two other Meriden residents. They hunkered down through the storm, which Phil Massicotte described as sounding like a “freight train” — with roaring winds that shook the building they sheltered in. The storm flooded the airport, delaying flights from the island.

Doll said her sister spent hours on the phone with Jet Blue securing flights for all six city residents.

“My dad said we came here all six of us, we’re going back all six of us,” Doll said.

The six boarded a flight Tuesday afternoon and were expected to arrive home Tuesday night, Doll said.

Others with ties to the area continue to deal with impacts of the storm. Former Wallingford resident Suzanne Zafira Aruri, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida, said many remain without power or cell phone service.

“Many people unfortunately lost their homes and even a few their lives,” said Aruri, a Lyman Hall graduate. “Just about every county is on a curfew. We can’t leave our houses to even walk our dogs without having law enforcement telling us to get back inside.”

Aruri urged area residents to contribute in any way possible to relief efforts.

“There are many people in need here who I’m sure would appreciate the same generosity the people in Texas received,” Aruri said. “Florida will find its strength, rebuild and move on and just wait for the next one, but let it be known a little goes a long way.” 203-317-2231 Twitter: @LeighTaussRJ

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