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Selfless Choices Made During Hurricane Irma

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Ashley Morrow says Hurricane Irma forced her to make one of the hardest decisions of her life. She chose to come home to Lewiston, leaving her husband in Florida, to protect what was most important to both of them.

Ashley and her husband, Chase, are a young couple just beginning their lives. Chase is a member of the U.S. Air Force, serving on Patrick Air Force Base off the eastern coast of Florida.

Ashley says, "When the hurricane was projected to hit really hard on the east coast and it was supposed to be a category 4 or 5."

The safest place to stay was Georgia or Tennesee.

Ashley says, "And if we were going to go that far we figured we might as well come home."

Home, in this case, is the Lewis-Clark Valley. Ashley and her husband are both from the area. But because airmen are needed to help rebuild infrastructure after the storm, Chase had to stay behind as Irma made landfall.

Ashley says, "He said it was nerve-racking; it was hard to sleep last night because it hit in the middle of the night. The transformers were blowing. They said it sounded like popping popcorn with the transformers going."

Chase is safe, updating Ashley on what's going on as often as possible with power still out. This isn't their first hurricane. They hunkered down during Hurricane Matthew last year. But this time was different.

Ashley says, "I know they tell that that's going to happen when you're a parent, but it was the first time [I] had to make the choice to stay with [my] spouse or protect [my] baby. We both decided it was the best idea to put her first."

She says when they were gathering things to keep safe, the really irreplacable things, they only filled a small tote. But that, she says, is so often the case. It's the really small things that mean the most.

Ashley says, "It's amazing how much you realize is replacable, how much of your life seems important until it really comes down to it and...it's only the small stuff that really gets you."

Ashley says her coming here was a blessing in disguise, as baby Charlotte has gotten to meet family members, some for the first time, including her great-great grandparents.

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