Wife ‘shocked’ to see disabled husband die in Hurricane Ian floods


Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Alice Mackie and Jerry Argo got married last year.

Last night, Hurricane Ian made her a widow.

“It happened…so fast,” McKee told The Daily Beast on Friday.

Mercilessly like a torrential downpour the wind hit florida On Thursday, Mackey, 72, and Argo, 67, found themselves in trouble. Ian was breaking a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in Smyrna Beach. The surrounding streets were flooded waist-deep, making the area inaccessible to regular emergency vehicles. So his disabled Mackey and Argo were put on a waiting list and rescued by a crew who used his Bearcat in high water to rescue stranded residents.

Eventually, the floodwaters rushed into the couple’s home, rapidly reaching knee height and continuing to rise. The two hurriedly collected pets. I have a cat, 3 dogs, 2 cockatiels and a parrot. While Mackie is in another room, Argo suddenly slips off the stool she was sitting on and falls to the floor, completely submerged except for her head.

“He said, ‘Alice, help me,'” McKay recalls. “I couldn’t wake him up. He weighs 250 pounds. So when I propped his head on a pillow, he said, ‘Call 911.'”He lay in the water from 9 to 10, paramedics [hadn’t gotten] there. “

The water level continued to rise and Argo cried out, “I’m going to drown!”

“I said, ‘They’re coming, they’re coming,'” McKay continued. I even called him 4 times and he said “I’m dying”. I said, “No, you are not.” Then he silently slipped into the water. ”

Help finally arrived around 10:30 pm, Mackey said. However, rescuers were unable to resuscitate Argo and he was pronounced dead at the scene. according to the authoritieshas yet to identify him publicly.

By then, Argo had been lying in the water for over 90 minutes. McKee informed emergency responders of this. Emergency responders pulled an underwater coffee table above the waterline and placed Argo on it in the kitchen while Mackie waited in another room.

“They gave him oxygen, CPR and shock therapy,” Mackey said. “They worked on him for maybe an hour, then came in and gave me a hug. And I said, ‘What is that for?’ I think.” I said, “What?” And they said, ‘Your husband is dead.'”

The cause of death was drowning, the Florida Coroner’s Board confirmed Friday.

<divクラス="インライン画像__クレジット">Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images</div>
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Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of people across the state have lost all of their homes, loved ones and worldly possessions in violent Category 4 hurricanes.As of Friday, Florida officials say They confirm 21 deaths statewide as possible attributed to Hurricane IanThe numbers show that more and more rescue and salvage parties have been affected, including the hard-hit barrier islands of Captiva and Sanibel, which were flooded in what Governor Ron DeSantis called a “biblical storm.” Swells are expected to rise as the area becomes more accessible. In Lee County, emergency responders encountered a scene similar to the one where Argo lost his life, according to Kevin Guthrie, Florida’s emergency management chief.

“Let me paint for you,” Guthrie said at a press conference. “The water was on the roof, but a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swam into it and he was able to identify what appeared to be human remains. We don’t know the exact number. ..until the water recedes and special facilities are in place to enter it.”

A retired Argo “complained a lot, but tried to help people,” McKee’s daughter, Lisa McKee Mitchell, told The Daily Beast, referring to her mother’s husband as an avid church volunteer. , delivered food to the poor and mowed the neighborhood lawns.

“My mother lost everything and now she has none,” said Mackey Mitchell. “She lost her husband who is her home. Everything.”

Mackey, who suffered serious back injuries during the ordeal, was taken to a local air raid shelter along with two of his three dogs, according to his daughter. A third animal was rescued by another agent and taken to an animal shelter, though Mackey doesn’t know which one. On Friday, Mackey managed to reach his daughter’s house, but the house itself was badly damaged and now has no electricity or running water.

“She has no money until the 3rd and the money she gets from retirement is not enough for her to live on,” said McKee Mitchell, noting that she’s also struggling financially.

Medical workers told Mackie that his injured leg was infected, but Mackie Mitchell said that neither she nor her mother had enough cash to buy essential items such as antibiotic ointment. According to her daughter, McKee is now hiding some money in an abandoned house. rice field.

“My mother has none,” continued Mackey Mitchell. “No clothes, no furniture, no appliances, nothing. Everything is saturated with water. She probably lost three birds. She had a beautiful cat, but I wonder if it’s alive. I don’t even know… me and my boyfriend tried to go there but there is no way to get close to the place.

Tracking down her third dog will be the next challenge for Mackey, along with calls to FEMA and other federal or state officials.

Meanwhile, McKee said she would carry on, the way her husband wanted her.

“I just have to be tough and hang in there and put my chin up for him and do everything I can,” she said.[The paramedics] Didn’t let me go to the kitchen and kiss him goodbye and tell him I loved him. But he knows I still love him. i miss him Leave your wedding ring on. Then you will be fine. ”

On Friday afternoon, Ian made a second landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.of National Weather Service The storm is forecast to move inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina tonight. Expected to disappear in western North Carolina or Virginia by late Saturday.

— Reported by Michael Daly

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