Hurricane Irma Photo courtesy NBC

TAMPA, Fla. – After surviving the fires and blizzards of Montana, one Billings native can now add to her list living through a hurricane in Florida.

Tifan Crane, a former Billings Clinic nurse, now lives in Tampa, Fla., where she works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

When she moved to Florida back in April, Crane had no idea what curveball Mother Nature would throw at her. As the category 5 Hurricane Irma barreled toward the Florida coast, Crane did all she could to prepare.

But, unlike the 6.3 million residents forced to evacuate, she had to stay behind with her husband and pets. That’s because Crane was there to help expectant mothers through the storm.

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As destruction and chaos ripped through communities across the Sunshine State, new lives were also left in Irma’s wake.

Crane told MTN News that a drastic drop in barometric pressure, as seen with hurricanes, can cause a woman’s water to break and lead to a premature birth.

She said the Florida Hospital Tampa had 25 premature babies as of Monday night. The youngest babies came into the world at only 25 weeks gestation.

“Four of them walked through the door and delivered this (Monday) morning,” Crane said. “They were waiting at home.”

She said one woman delivered a one-and-a-half pound baby Monday morning. She reported the mom and baby are doing well.

Crane also said the hospitals in Florida are usually very prepared for an increase in births during a natural disaster like a hurricane.

Aside from a couple leaks in her roof, Crane said she’s safe.

She now plans to take care of the new additions to the world and then start rebuilding Tampa.

MTN’s Cat Hill