St. Pete pilot headed to islands devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Posted September 25, 2017 4:10 p.m. EDT
ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Hurricanes Maria and Irma have turned islands, across the Caribbean, upside down. Islanders are in the middle of chaos and unheard of damage, but one St. Pete pilot is refusing to let them deal with it alone.
Jennifer Lockwood is returning to her adopted home of nearly ten years.
"It's devastation is what it is, you've lost your home," said Lockwood.
St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands is one of several islands in a humanitarian crisis.
"Looking at images of somebody's living room completely soaking wet and with debris and then there's no roof," described Lockwood.
That's why this pilot asked the community for help and it responded in kind. Her employer, St. Pete Air, a flight school donated a plane. Strangers and friends showed up to the hangar with supplies filling up 10 box-trucks; even $70,000 in monetary donations. All of it heading to Virgin Islands.
"To me it's just human kind to be compassionate for one another and to help each other out if you are able," she said.
With every item she loads up she thinks of her friends and neighbors dealing with unprecedented devastation.
"There's a lot of fear from people that I've known for years that are very strong individuals," said Lockwood.
She remembers each terrifying image she saw on social media in real time. Right now there are families with no food, no water and no home.
"Hearing that," she said, "It just makes everything real like this is really happening. People are running out of supplies they need for basic survival."
For all of them she has one assurance.
"Just let them know that we are coming and we are going to keep coming until the island is rebuilt and everyone is taken care of," she said.
Lockwood pleading with those who own their own planes. She tells ABC Action News they've got plenty of supplies but need planes to carry them there. She's asking anyone who can, to consider donating a flight.
Lockwood takes off Monday morning.