SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Cicero native Chris Altier finished hunkering down his Treasure Island home Wednesday morning before joining his family in Spring Hill, Florida to wait out Hurricane Ian.

“I left about 5:30 this morning, I’ll say it was a little surreal, it was very, very quiet.”

Chris Altier, Cicero native evacuating Hurricane Ian

The island closed down to tourists the day before and Altier needed a special pass on his car just to be there describing the island as ghostly with so many people already gone. Once he left there was no turning back. 

“So to leave this morning and pass that cop on the other side of the road and know if I wanted to turn around and say oh man I forgot something, I wasn’t gonna be able to enter the island again.”

Chris Altier, Cicero native evacuating Hurricane Ian

An eerie feeling having just moved there three months ago from another part of Florida, but Altier said his new neighbors were more than willing to help.

“You just see this sense of community, so everyone was just kind of pulling together to make sure everyone was set in whatever decision they made,” he said.

Now he’s tracking the storm from the safety of his daughter’s home hoping to return in a day or two to a house still standing.