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Woman who formed special bond with Clearwater officers during Hurricane Irma dies at 97

Police say their bond with 'Miss Betty' didn't end when the hurricane did.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a 2018 story 10 Tampa Bay did about "Miss Betty" and Clearwater police.

A bond that formed in 2017 during Hurricane Irma between a woman and Clearwater Police officers endured years beyond the storm. 

And, it lasted until "Miss Betty" peacefully passed away Wednesday just shy of her 98th birthday, police said. 

Clearwater Police say it all started in 2017 via a Facebook message to the department. Betty Helmuth's family members living in Texas contacted police because they were worried about their then-95-year-old grandmother as Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida. 

After seeing the "horrors" of Hurricane Harvey they were worried "Miss Betty" didn't have enough supplies to get through Irma, but couldn't send supplies themselves because stores in their area were out of essentials, Clearwater Police explained. 

So, Clearwater Police sent an officer and four police aides "armed" with flashlights, food, water "and plenty of hugs" to check on "Miss Betty." 

"Miss Betty, as we called her that day and for years to come, went viral as everyone fell in love with her infectious personality and spirit. She never stopped talking about that day and how much it meant to her, and how cute 'those boys' were," Clearwater Police wrote Thursday on Facebook.

Back in 2018, Bobby Lewis met with Miss Betty and Officer James Frederick to speak with them about the bond they formed.

RELATED: Special bond between grandma and officer a year after Hurricane Irma

"You will always be our sunshine, Miss Betty. We will never forget the joy you brought to our agency and our people," Clearwater Police wrote. 

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