SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — As hurricane Maria pounded the tiny island of Dominica Monday night, Lisa and Greg Moser were getting text messages updates from their son and the news got more grim by the minute.
“We are in the middle they eye wall now. Winds around 150 miles per hour with lots of lightning,” mother Lisa Moser said reading her son’s text.
Austin Moser is in his first year at Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica. Monday night Greg was at home in Santa Clarita. Lisa was getting their daughter Ashlyn settled in at college in Tennessee. Austin was taking cover in a friends apartment in Dominica.
“His last text to me was winds are about 160 miles an hour. And it’s starting to get real bad dad. And that was it,” father Greg Moser said.
For two days they heard nothing and just waited and worried. Day three brought hope.
They got a call from a Dr. In Miami who’s associated with the school who said Austin had checked in with the school. But as of right now, that is all they know.
“It’s been horrible not knowing. Horrible,” Lisa said.
What they do know is Dominica took a direct hit from the hurricane. Satellite phones and ham radios provide spotty communication from the island at best. It’s not a resort island, so there’s no large airport or port. The Mosers said Friday was the first day Dominica has been able to ferry those most in need to a neighboring island. They say the medical school plans to get students to St. Lucia and then fly them to Miami and then home. But that won’t happen soon, Ferry boats hold only 100-200 people so it’s going to take awhile to get all 1500 students off the island.
The schools website reported Friday the first ferry battled rough seas getting to St. Lucia. The Moseleys are constantly checking for updates online.
“We can’t wait for that phone call from him.”