Hurricane Matthew leaves local woman stranded in Haiti

A vehicles sits next to a house, stranded in the flood waters caused by Hurricane Matthew, in Leogane, Haiti. Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016. Matthew slammed into Haiti's southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds tearing off roofs in the poor and largely rural area, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local Westerly woman expected she would be going to working per usual on Tuesday, instead, she was stranded in Haiti.

Torrential rain, 140 mile per hour winds, and flooding canceled many flights going out of Haiti, include Julie Manfred’s, 39, of Westerly.

In a Facebook Video Chat with Eyewitness News, Manfred said, “I’m very concerned because obviously, as a single mom, I have a full time job with a large family. I can’t afford to be missing work.”

Manfred was in Haiti to visit the H.I.S Home for Children orphanage to adopt two children. Now, she is trying to catch a flight home on Wednesday to get back home to her nine kids.

In the meantime, “as far as being here at the orphanage, it is so full of love and if I had to be stranded somewhere, this is where I’d want to be,” Manfred.

She also explained that her area was spared from catastrophic damage but other areas weren’t so lucky. “We will be stretched in the coming days to meet the needs of those who were not spared,” she said.

Forecasters can’t say for sure whether the hurricane will hit the United States, but the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross is taking no chances.

“At this point, we’re calling our volunteers, getting them ready to go, making sure our trailers are in place, making sure our vender agreements are ready to go,” said Liz McDonald, Director of Emergency Services.

The Red Cross has ten trailers throughout Rhode Island that are full of cots, blankets and other supplies. Each trailer corresponds with an emergency center that they are prepared to open if necessary.

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