'Our hurricane babies are safe': Military couple evacuating Florence welcomes twins

Florence twins
Ensign Michelle Araya, a nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, helped Danielle Digregorio through the birth of her twin daughters. Copyright Jacob Sippel Naval Hospital Jacksonville
By Julia Curley with TODAY Lifestyle
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Baby daughters Sadie and Scarlett arrived early Thursday morning.


With the catastrophic weather conditions of Florence battering the North Carolina coast late this week, Danielle and Cpl. Nicholas Digregorio evacuated the state just in time to welcome two beautiful babies.

The whirlwind experience began earlier this week when the married couple faced the reality of a record-breaking storm while Danielle, 37 weeks pregnant with twins, was approaching her due date.

Cpl. Digregorio is stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, a city in the path of Florence, then categorized as a hurricane. The couple, originally from St. Augustine, Florida, opted to travel south on Tuesday toward safer ground.

Jacob Sippel

They arrived to a warm welcome from family in St. Augustine early Wednesday morning. Just 24 hours later, Danielle went into labor, eventually welcoming daughters Sadie and Scarlett at Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida.

"We were pretty nervous to leave North Carolina while expecting twins, but our doctor and our family felt like it was the right thing to do," the couple said in a joint statement to TODAY Parents. "We were confident we could make the drive, which is normally seven hours, but turned out to be a long 12 hours."

Jacob Sippel
New mom Danielle is all smiles with daughters Sadie and Scarlett.Jacob Sippel

With such devastating conditions back in North Carolina amid Florence, now a tropical storm, the new family of four feels grateful to the medical staff at Naval Hospital Jacksonville for a safe delivery.

"We had our twin girls, Sadie and Scarlett, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday," their statement concluded. "The nurses and doctors at Naval Hospital Jacksonville have been awesome, and everything worked out perfectly with the care here. Our little hurricane babies are safe."

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