Local safety patrols get caught in D.C. blizzard

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 19:23:05-05

A group of safety patrols from Palm Beach County is finally coming home after their return was delayed due to a blizzard.

The group from Loxahatchee Groves and Jupiter Farms Elementary schools left for Washington, D.C. last Thursday and were expected to come home on Saturday.

But on Monday, the group was still there due to canceled flights because of the blizzard.

Janine McNally's son, Robert, is one of the children headed home late Monday night.

"We packed another set of clothing, knowing we might be there another day. More clothing, more money. We were ready for at least one more day."

But Janine says the group wasn't expecting an extra two days in D.C.

Luckily for the chaperones and kids, the staff at their hotel took care of them.

"We've had non-stop hot cocoa, food, snacks, shelter," says Julie Ouellette, one of the chaperones with the trip.

She says she's confident the group will get home safely Monday night.

"We see Southwest flying above us now, so we're praying," she says.

Many of those in the group said they're most excited to sleep in their own beds again, along with seeing their families.

Julie says the kids loved playing in the snow, but she could tell they're ready to go home.

"They've been very good, except when they talk to their parents. They miss home. But other than that, they've been awesome. Big smiles, they're excited," she says.

The families back home in Florida were able to keep tabs on their kids through social media throughout the trip.

"I think because of the mass amount of social media we have, the contact we have with the kids and the chaperones-- I'm really comfortable," Janine says.

Julie says the kids' families won't have to pay any extra money for the additional days in Washington, D.C.

She says the travel company that arranged the trip is covering the cost.