FORT MYERS, FLORIDA (WSYR-TV) – Hundreds of thousands of people are left picking up the pieces after Hurricane Ian ripped through their homes and neighborhoods.
One of those Floridians is a woman with many ties to Central New York. NewsChannel 9 checked in with Rachel Savage and shares how she and her family survived the storm.
Chaotic is one way Rachel Savage describes the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, but she says there is a silver lining.
“It’s amazing to see the way the community has come together,” Rachel explained. “Last week, I didn’t know any of my dad’s neighbors, but now I know all of them.”
Rachel, her 3-year-old daughter, her boyfriend, and her father were all hunkering down at his home in Fort Myers when Hurricane Ian made landfall.
She said it all happened incredibly fast. The winds raged, and the water rushed into her father’s home.
As much as Rachel and her family prepared for Ian, the extensive damage was something none of them were ever expecting.
Each of her family member’s cars is flooded. Water and debris are sitting in her father’s home, and their neighborhood was still without power as of Monday.
We are definitely surprised, all of us are. I’ve heard so many times, if we would’ve known, obviously, we wouldn’t have stayed. That’s everybody’s outlook. For anything above a tropical storm, I’ll never be in Southwest, Florida again. I will fly back up to New York and stay with family up there.RACHEL SAVAGE, LIVES IN FORT MYERS, FLORIDA
Rachel, her daughter, and her father hopped in a rental car on Monday and made their way to Southeast, Georgia as recovery efforts in Southwest, Florida continue.
Her boyfriend, Randy, made the decision to stay back and help with the cleanup.
“That’s our home. Those are our neighbors, our family, our friends. He’s got the opportunity and the resources to help, so it was a no-brainer for him to do that,” Rachel said.
Randy is one of many helping to get the Sunshine state back on its feet.
If you’re interested in helping the victims of Hurricane Ian, click here for more information. You can also donate to the Florida Disaster Fund by clicking here.