Richmond father begs family to leave Florida coast

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Many local families have reached out to 8News saying they are concerned for their loved ones who live in the path of Hurricane Matthew. One Richmond father tells us he had to beg his daughter and her family to leave their home in Eastern Florida.

Ken Ballos says it wasn’t an easy sell; his daughter and her family, who live near Daytona Beach, had planned to ride the storm out until late Thursday night. He begged them to take shelter elsewhere. He said his family did not want to leave everything they own.

“They live in a double wide home and they boarded up the windows today and they called me and told me (they were staying),” Ballos explained. “I told them there is no way in heck that double wide would be able to survive that type of wind,” said Ballos.


Even after that advice, Ballos’ family still wanted to stay. When he spoke with 8News reporter Parker Slaybaugh he didn’t mince words.

“You’re crazy, that’s the only thing you can think? Where is your common sense? Of course, her husband says, ‘look, I’ve been through hurricanes before.’ I asked him, ‘have you ever been through a Category 4?’ He said, ‘no.’ I said, ‘you better go.”

6397e1543d394baa9f7ae0cf4e26f1a4At that point, Ballos was worried one main thing could happen.

“Death. Loss of life,” he said. “You fear for their life. And I said, ‘if one of you survived it, or either if two of you survived it and you lost your child or your husband, what’s going to happen to you then?’ The first thing you will say then is I should have left.”

The family came to a compromise as the outer bands of Matthew started coming on shore. Ballos’ daughter, son-in-law and three grand children packed it up and sought shelter four miles inland. But the fear is still there for Ballos.

“Even though they say the school is hurricane proof, you still got that wonder if it really is,” he explained. “So, I hope after tomorrow we will find out if everything goes great.”

Ballos says he plans to call his family many times overnight to continue checking on them.

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