“IN ATTIC HELP!” Cantonment couple rescued after scrawling message for help on the front door

Tracking the Tropics
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CANTONMENT, Fla. (CBS NEWSPATH) — The fire trucks and rescue vehicles kept passing her house even after Elaine Hulgan, 76, wrote “IN ATTIC HELP” on the front door, so Hulgan’s 84-year-old husband resorted to his best emergency signal: an ear-splitting whistle.

The noise rose above the din, and a firefighter on a Jet Ski soon rescued the couple and their two dogs off the front stoop of their brick home.

The Florida couple was trapped in their home after Hurricane Sally lumbered ashore Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores, Alabama, with 105 mph (165 kph) winds. At least one death has been attributed to the storm.

Now comes the tough part for Elaine and Jack Hulgan — filing insurance claims, dealing with two flooded cars, finding temporary housing and waiting to get home.

Residents of a flood-prone neighborhood north of Pensacola since 1993, the Hulgans know what to do during a big storm since they’ve been flooded twice before and forced into the attic once.

Elaine Hulgan said they’re not sure where they might live while their home is being repaired, but they’re also thankful to be alive.

“(Jack) said everything was going to be ok, and it was,” she said.

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