Fresno couple faced Hurricane Florence together despite being miles apart

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley natives Julie De La Rosa and her husband Manuel have been together for five years.

But for the last six months, Manuel has been stationed at a Coast Guard base in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

A place hit hard by Hurricane Florence.

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People on the East Coast are feeling the impact of Hurricane Florence with winds kicking up to 70 miles per hour when it hit Friday.

"I was worried, what if he loses service and I don't have that contact with him anymore," said Julie.

The only way they've been able to keep in touch since they've been apart was by cell phone.

Julie says, the thought of losing contact with her husband was overwhelming.

"I was like finally, I can sleep because I was constantly checking my phone for updates," said Julie.

Winds kicked up to 70 miles per hour when the storm hit Friday.

And right now parts of the state flooded, leaving thousands stranded without power.

Manuel forced to lay down sandbags while bracing for the worst.

"We were expecting about a three-foot increase on the beach level and we are right on the beach, so that would have affected the entire base, so we were expecting the worst," said Manuel.

The storm shifted paths before it made landfall, moving south from where Manuel lives.

Meantime -- he is still in training. Despite the setbacks from the storm will be a certified rescue swimmer by the end of next week.

"Hopefully the next hurricane I'll be right out of training and right into the middle of it all," said Manuel.

That worries his wife Julie. But she finds comfort in knowing her husband is doing the right thing.

"Above all else, I am so proud of him, for what he is doing and it is such an honorable thing for him to do," said Julie.

Manuel says the damage in town was minimal. And now he and his peers are going into the community to help those in need.
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