South Floridians keep tabs on family in Sandy's path

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Thanks to technology, South Floridians are riding out the storm with loved ones who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy up north.

"They were sending text messages, pictures of boats in the backyard, sinking," said Kris Schlembach, a Boca Raton resident.

"How are you holding up?" he asked his brother, Michael. "I generally sleep like a baby, last night, I had nightmares."

Schlembach's family lives in South Jersey, where the storm is hitting hard.

Tonight, open phone lines into South Florida were potentially lifesaving for people hundreds of miles north of here.

"The power was out. They were asking me about things that were going on based on what I was getting off the news on TV," said Schlembach.

Elizabeth Grace is another South Floridian who's trying to stay connected.

"OK I'm out on the porch. Do you hear it now?" asked Grace's friend, Ellen Yui, of Tacoma Park, MD.

They video chatted via Skype.

Ellen sent pictures via email of an overflowing creek.

"Its been raining since last night. What's scary with these trees, is that the ground is so saturated, that's when they're going to fall down. I just hope they don't hit our house," said Yui.

The downside of constant connection, Grace says, is that a brief break in communication - if power goes out - can make people worry quickly.

"The homes are not built with cat 5 windows and some of the things we're used to here. They're very vulnerable," said Grace.