• Kirkland man contacts family after deadly storm in Philippines

    By: John Knicely


    Family finally hears from Kirkland man who survived deadly storm in Philippines

    After several sleepless nights, Dianna Schneider got the news she was desperately praying for. Her brother, Gregg Anderson of Kirkland, survived the deadly typhoon that ravished the Philippines.

    Anderson went to the Philippines with two friends to celebrate his 50th birthday and he was supposed to be near Tacloban, the hardest-hit area. Schneider had been calling her brother's cellphone for days after the storm hit. At 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, she got a call from a friend of a friend who finally got through to him. So Schneider called.

    "And it was very crackly, very crackly," She said. "And then I heard him say, 'Hi, sis!' And I couldn't believe it I was so excited. It was him, because he calls me Sis."

    The call was brief, but Dianna learned Anderson and his two friends rented motorcycles, rode to safety, and were then picked up by the Filipino air force. She still doesn't know the details of how he survived the storm.

    "He says, 'Dianna, I am OK. It was horrific. It was horrible.' He says there's nothing left," Schneider said.

    Anderson's Facebook page is filled with posts of relief from friends and family, including his Washington State University fraternity brothers who were set to send someone to the Philippines to help find him.

    Dianna can't wait see him.

    "Oh, I'm going to cry," she said. "And I know he will, too."

    She knows he's being flown to Manila and she's now waiting for an email with details of his return to Seattle.

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