2 New Jersey girls stranded by war in Georgia

A Monmouth County family is struggling to bring home their two young daughters, who have been stranded in Georgia since the break-out of the war.

The two daughters of Joe Evans, of Howell, 7-year-old Ashley and 3-year-old Sophia, traveled to Caucasus as part of an annual family trip, visiting their grandparents who live in Chiatura, in the Georgian countryside.

But in the course of their trip, an armed conflict broke out in the region, preventing their return to the United States. Chiatura, where the girls are staying, is located near the area where Russia is advancing, uprooting tens of thousands of people.

Evans says his daughters told him they attempted to leave the rural town, but the Russian army turned them around.

Local politicians and representatives of the U.S. embassy in Georgia have been in contact with Evans, working to bring the girls back. His brother-in-law, a former Georgian soldier, is on the way to the family's home in Chiatura.

"I'm hoping it cools off and then we'll bring them back," Evans says.

The girls? family has already booked seats for their daughters on a flight from Armenia, where the closest working airport in the region is located, on Aug. 26. But they are still not sure how the girls will get to the airport.

Another New Jersey family, whose children have been stuck in Georgia since the beginning of the war, is also awaiting their return. The Rakousky teens are expected to arrive home from Georgia Thursday.

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