Dozens of local nurses stranded in wake of Hurricane Matthew - KCTV5

Dozens of local nurses stranded in wake of Hurricane Matthew

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Planes have been grounded, airlines have stopped service and some airports have closed entirely. (KCTV5) Planes have been grounded, airlines have stopped service and some airports have closed entirely. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Dozens of nurses from Kansas City are stranded in Florida due to the travel challenges presented by Hurricane Matthew.

There were 10,000 nurses attending a national conference in Orlando when it was canceled mid-week due to the storm.

Now, more than 50 nurses from Children’s Mercy Hospital, St. Lukes Medical Center and the University of Kansas Hospital are stuck in Orlando, and scrambling to find flights has not been easy.

“We’ve been juggling flights the past couple of days so that’s been the most challenging part,” University of Kansas Hospital nurse Gail Shuetz said.

Planes have been grounded, airlines have stopped service and some airports have closed entirely.

Those closures and delays have left University of Kansas Hospital nurses Amanda Gartner, Jen McNiel and Gail Schuetz in Orlando much longer than they had planned. They were supposed to head home Friday night.

“I’m looking at Sunday, maybe Monday, before I get out,” Schuetz said.

But given their jobs, they know it could be much worse.

“We feel extremely safe,” nurse Amanda Gartner said. “There are quite a few families that had to evacuate here so I think they are more anxious than anyone.”

The nurses say they’ve talked with many people from the coast who have evacuated inland to their hotel.

“They’re definitely worried about their homes and what condition their home will be in when they return,” nurse Jen McNiel said.

They also say the hotel is full of people fleeing from the catastrophic destruction of the storm.

“Put things in perspective for us,” Schuetz said. “Praying for people who’s homes are at risk and lost lives has helped us recognize that this is not that bad for us.”

The women say they’ve communicated a plan with the University of Kansas Hospital and are willing to step in to help those hurt in the storm if needed.

The hotel is aware of a large number of medical professionals they are hosting.

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