Lake Worth woman rides out storm in Haiti

Says she's most worried about 'tent cities'

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Lake Worth woman is riding out Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti, 750 miles away from her Palm Beach County home.  She is worried about the Haitian people who have already endured so much.

Sandra Koch, founder of Help For Haiti, Inc ., is hunkering down and waiting for the storm to arrive.

"You get the wind guts and then you get a mini rain squall," said Koch via phone Friday evening.

Sandra's organization helps Haitians with the basics - food, water, clothing - but she is wondering if Isaac will reverse some of the hard work she and others have put in over the years.

Sandra, who is in a compound about nine miles from the Port-au-Prince airport, says some of the locals there never got word that the storm was approaching.

"In south Florida when we hear the words 'tropical storm, hurricane', we go to Home Depot and get the plywood," she said. "In Haiti, everybody is still trying to survive."

Haiti has yet to recover from a magnitude 7.0 earthquake two and a half years ago. Sandra says even with ongoing evacuations of thousands of people from 'tent cities', it may not be enough to save everyone in the Isaac's path.  "The thing that concerns everybody the most is the people in the tents," said Koch.  "Even if they're not in a tent and they might be in a little house, it might be made of tin. What kind of structure is that to resist the wind?"

Sandra holds on to hope that her work - and the Haitian people will pull through; something they have had to do too many times before. "They never let anything stop them," she said.

Koch and her fellow volunteers hope head out of shelter late Saturday to check the roads and check on the people.

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