JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As thousands of utility workers are positioned to respond to potential widespread power outages, a lineworker met his sister for the very first time at the Columbia County fairgrounds.
Lineworker Paul Ackels made the 1,200 mile trip to Florida from Michigan. At the same time, his sister, Taylor Hensen, made the drive over.
"We're actually evacuating from Jacksonville, Florida. We stopped here for dinner. We're going to pick up my mom in Texas and seeing that he was here in Lake City and we were right next door I was like, well, we can finally meet!" Hensen said.
Ackels and Hensen had never met before Saturday, and until six months ago, they didn't realize they were siblings. Hensen came across his name through some family paperwork, reached out to him on Facebook and said hello.
They never thought their paths would cross for the first time during a hurricane.
"I made her get out of the car and give me a hug. I was like, you can't just sit there," Ackels said.
Hensen will head onto Texas while Ackels will brave the aftermath of Dorian. He said the floodwaters and nights of sleeping in his truck are all worth seeing his sister.
The siblings plan to keep in touch and hope to meet up again after the hurricane.