Rochester family returns from east coast - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester family returns from east coast

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A Rochester couple was on the only Delta flight that wasn't canceled, and made it back to Rochester Monday morning.

Don and Sharon Gabrielson of Rochester were in Washington D.C. for a five day trip.  Don was participating in the Marine Corps Marathon along with 30,000 other runners in the area.

But that was on Sunday.  He said, at that point, the storm wasn't a big issue. 

"I think Saturday before the race they had forecasted some rain," Don Gabrielson said. "They were concerned the rain might affect the race. But still we weren't aware at that time how severe it could be."

But the storm kept building momentum.  Tropical Storm Sandy was heading toward shore, and one of the Gabrielson's relatives who works for the airlines tipped the couple off, telling them to get out while they can. 

"He said you guys need to try to get out of there because if United does this every other airline is going to follow," said Sharon Gabrielson.  "And that is exactly what happened."

The two boarded the last Delta flight out of the area arriving back at their home in Rochester around 4 a.m.  However, their daughter and husband who live in the D.C. area, weren't so lucky.

Back in Rochester, Alyssa Gabrielson has been keeping in touch with her stranded sister.  "She says that they are playing Apples to Apples in the candlelight," she explained.  "They filled the bath tub up with water so they could take buckets out of it so they could still go to the bathroom. And just kind of laying low trying to keep themselves occupied."

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