Elderly Air Force vet reunites with police officers after Irma rescue

SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A veteran in Sunny Isles Beach got the opportunity to thank the police officers who came to her rescue right before Hurricane Irma hit South Florida.

“These are my girls,” said 93-year-old Frances King, as she greeted several police female officers at her Sunny Isles Beach home, Sunday.

“Hi, sweetheart,” she said as she kissed an officer. “I’m so glad to see you.”

“I don’t know how to express my gratitude any more,” King told 7News. “Without them, I don’t know how I would have done it. I had no food in the house to start with.”

Sunny Isles Beach was under a mandatory evacuation before Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. King wanted to leave her home but was unable.

King, a U.S. Air Force veteran, tried to get into a shelter but was not successful. “I couldn’t get out. I can’t drive the car, so I had no way to get out,” she said.

“Unfortunately, due to it being towards the last minute of the evacuation, the shelters [had long] lines,” said Sunny Isles Beach Police Lt. Edward Santiago. “There’s no answer on the phone. When she did get through, they told her she was at the bottom of the list.”

“Terrible, terrible. I don’t know what would have happened if I had been left here,” said King.

When asked whether she was afraid of the storm, she replied, “No, I’m not scared. I’m never scared.”

King’s only hope was Sunny Isles Beach Police. Friday night, she picked up the phone and called the department.

“We tried to do everything we can to help her,” said Santiago.

Late Friday night, King was placed into a shelter because of these officers’ actions.

Hours later, strong winds ripped through Sunny Isles Beach, taking down the city’s prominent street sign.

King said she’s grateful she was rescued. One by one, she hugged these officers — embraces of gratitude.

King’s smile through it all was a ray of goodness in stormy weather.

This veteran is very proud of her service. Every day, she raises a U.S. flag at a pole located outside of her home.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.