Elmont family powers through blizzard to get home

Sunday's blizzard walloped the tri-state area, stranding thousands of commuters and airline passengers, but mounds of snow weren't enough to keep an Elmont family from

ELMONT - Sunday's blizzard walloped the tri-state area, stranding thousands of commuters and airline passengers, but mounds of snow weren't enough to keep an Elmont family from reaching home.

Emilian Emeagwali and her five children went on vacation to Disney World. On Sunday, Emeagwali's husband, Patrick, called her in Florida to tell her that a blizzard shut down all local airports, including John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Emeagwali told her husband to book her the next flight to New York, but the next available flight wasn't until Wednesday. The family then got on a JetBlue flight heading to Buffalo. Emeagwali says she was hoping to get on a train or bus back home to Elmont, but nothing was running because of the storm.

Emeagwali and her kids asked a taxi driver they met to drive them 400 miles to Elmont. A trip that would have taken six-and-a-half hours on a regular day took 13 hours and cost Emeagwali $900.

Meanwhile, Emeagwali's husband was growing worried.

"I didn't know who was driving them, whether they're safe," he recalls.

After not hearing from his family for hours, Patrick Emeagwali finally got a phone call saying his family was in the Bronx. Not before long, the Emeagwalis were back together.

Emilian Emeagwali says she was desperate to come home quickly because she couldn't afford to stay in Disney World any longer.

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