Local News

Florida Family Flees Frances, Welcomes Newborn In Triangle

Posted September 16, 2004

— While millions will remember Hurricane Frances as a giant wrecking ball that endangered lives, Pam and Jamie Watson will remember Frances as the storm that ushered in their baby girl.

"It's a blessing. Every father wants a little girl," Jamie Watson said.

"I'll remember it as something that was traumatic for a lot of people ... For me, it's been a time to bond with my family and spend time with my dad," Pam Watson said.

To understand their joy, you have to understand the family's journey.

It all started as Hurricane Frances drove toward Florida and the Watson family joined the mass exodus out of their home state.

"We were trying to figure out which way to go, but it was moving so slow you couldn't tell," Pam Watson said.

Little did she know the path that Frances took would change the direction of her life.

The family loaded into their pickup truck and headed north to Pam Watson's father's house in Raleigh.

"I e-mailed reservations for four -- possibly five. I was just kidding," she said.

Two days after their arrival -- and one day after Frances hit the Watson's Melbourne home -- the baby arrived three weeks early.

Pam Watson went into labor on Labor Day and gave birth to 8 pound Faith Frances Watson that day.

The family became instant Carolina Hurricanes fans, as well -- all sporting team jerseys.

"It would be appropriate for the photo album," Pam Watson said.

The Watson's Florida home suffered minor damage. The family is trying to figure out when they should return home since Tropical storm Jeanne is heading closer to their state.

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