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Hurricane Otto affects Triangle couple's wedding plans

Posted November 25

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— Hurricane Otto left at least 9 dead in Costa Rica and forced thousands of people to evacuate when it hit the Caribbean coast with powerful winds and torrential rains.

The storm made landfall as a category 2 storm but weakened rapidly. On Friday Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís declared 3 days of mourning to begin Monday.

Damage from the storm has devastated thousands of Costa Ricans and affected visitors, including one couple from Wake County.

The future Graham and Lizzy Chapman landed in Costa Rica as the storm did. They had planned to get married there, but the storm threatened to ruin the plan.

“We are freaked out and worried about all of our family and friends getting here safely,” groom Graham Chapman said. “There were houses under water. It looked like pure devastation in other parts of this country.”

They are scheduled to be married on Monday, and the couple’s family members are stuck in Holly Springs. Family was supposed to fly out to join the bride and groom Thursday, and they will now fly in Saturday.

“I was worried, not only that we were not going to get there, but that we were going to get hurt, and that this whole wedding was going to be a catastrophe. They planned forever for this,” said Susan Chapman, the groom’s stepmother.

“The wedding is on Monday, so (Saturday) is about as close as we’re going to cut it,” said David Chapman, the groom’s father.

While other parts of Costa Rica were hard hit by Hurricane Otto, the location for the big event made it out okay, so the wedding is currently still scheduled.

“We ended up really fortunate and blessed to be here,” said bride Lizzy Chapman.

Family members said their thoughts are with the people of Costa Rica, who have been devastated by the storm.

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