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St. Louis-area families are feeling the impact of Hurricane Ian

"I just want to hug my daughter. We put her on an emergency flight back here to the St. Louis area," said Collinsville mom, Cameo Phillips.

ST. LOUIS — "We've been watching things. Also, we've been having connections," said Colllinsville mom Cameo Phillips.

Her 23-year-old daughter, Caleb-McKenzie Phillips, is a chemist in Tampa.

She's lived there for six years.

For the past few days, the mother and daughter have been tracking Hurricane Ian as it roars towards Florida.

"Initially, she was thinking this would blow over," said Cameo Phillips.

After the Category 2 Hurricane strengthened, prompted evacuations and threatened dangerous storm surges, Phillips and her husband took no chances.

Monday afternoon they put their daughter on an emergency flight out of Tampa and flew her back to the St. Louis area.

"She's a little nervous. It didn't take much convincing to have her come home. She will be here for a while. Mom and dad won't let her go back home until all coasts are clear," said Phillips.

"When we got up this morning, we went on a charter fishing excursion," said Tim McDonald.

But, hours later, McDonald and his wife's last week of their three-week, Florida vacation took an unexpected turn due to Hurricane Ian.

"We had a message on our condo that we're getting evacuated," said Tim.

The couple learned by noon on Tuesday, they and everyone on the small island of Siesta Key must leave due to the intensifying storm.

Siesta Key is in Sarasota County, which is about an hour from Tampa.

Tim McDonald is a longtime technical director at the Muny In Forest Park.

"The storm has pretty much ruined our vacation. We have a buddy in Nokomis which is south of here about 30 miles. We're gonna go stay with him. It kind of stinks, but what are you gonna do? Mother nature's bigger than us," added McDonald.

The Phillips' daughter's flight arrived back in the St. Louis-area late Monday.

The McDonalds were hoping to fly out of the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday.

However, their flight is now canceled.

The couple's crossing their fingers they will return home to St. Louis on Saturday.

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