WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — The State Department has announced plans to use chartered planes to fly thousands of U.S. citizens from Egypt to Europe. It will take several flights over the coming days to handle the number of Americans who want to leave that country.
Like thousands of family members in the United States, a Twin Cities woman is trying to get information to her son which, until this weekend, was impossible.
Four simple words gave Patti Thurik the relief she’s been waiting for all week. She got a text that said, “Hi ma, I am OK.”
Her son Tim, an architect working in the Middle East, is among the Americans stuck in the chaos unfolding in Egypt.
“Thank goodness he’s able to communicate with us now. There was a time when he couldn’t,” said Patti, who has a son stuck in Egypt.
Through text messages to his mother and to WCCO, Tim painted the picture of the danger he’s seeing first hand.
He told WCCO “Airport is chaos, most flights cancelled.”
Tim has been trying to get information on how he can get home. He said so far, he’s only running into roadblocks.
In another text he said, “Phone lines are down at Embassy and was told to contact through Internet. No Internet anymore in Cairo.”
“Why aren’t they getting the planes in there to help them get out,” asked Patti.
From her White Bear Lake home, Patti can only watch a situation that seems to worsen by the day.
“I cried when I saw the 6 o’clock news last night … It was scary to see it so close,” she said.
A mother’s protective instinct will kick in, even a half a world away. In this case, keeping her son safe means keeping the lines of communication open.
“There needs to be a way of communicating with them if something happens and getting them home if something happens,” said Patti.
Americans taking the charter will be billed for the cost of the flight and will need to make their own travel arrangements after arriving in Europe.