Nexstar affiliate WAVY in Portsmouth, Virginia, interviewed Rita Larson—who is originally from Mabie in Randolph County, her friend told Nexstar’s WAVY—and her husband, Brian, and shared the footage.
Larson said that the group from My Relate Church in Suffolk landed on Saturday, and when they checked their phones, they saw news of the attack.
Saturday is the Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest.
“So they’re not allowed to use their cellphones or anything, and we had several people coming up to us saying they were afraid, they had gotten some news but they couldn’t check their media, and to please share with them what was going on,” Larson said.
Larson said that the group of 12 has been trying to get out of Israel, but when flights do become available, they end up being canceled or rebooked.
“Sirens are going off alerting you of incoming possible missile strikes,” Larson said. “So we haven’t had any strikes in this area. Yesterday we were out and about a little bit and sirens went off and we actually took shelter in Zechariah’s Tomb, so that was kind of interesting, to say the least.”
Amid the chaos, Larson said that she and her husband were able to stock up on water, but they haven’t been able to get much sleep amid the sounds of shots and missiles.
“It’s pretty scary, and we know our families are really, super worried,” Larson said.”There’s a lot of other Americans here and we just really want to get home.”
Larson said she has followed advice and called the Embassy but was told that there aren’t arrangements for them to get home.
“They’re saying that there’s commercial flights that we can get home on, but there’s not,” Larson said. “When we go to try and book it, we’ll book it out a couple of days but it will get canceled, so we’re starting to feel a little bit on the hopeless side.”
Larson has had contact with her family and is keeping them informed.
“I think last night was the kicker when I spoke to my mom,” Larson said. “She just broke down in tears and was like, ‘You need to get out of there. You need to come home,’ and I had to tell her ‘Mom, I can’t come home.'”
President Joe Biden is expected to address Americans about the conflict in Israel at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.