Pine Island family rescued by neighbors during Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Pine Island residents being rescued by neighbors.

A family living on Pine Island made it through Hurricane Ian with the help of their daring neighbors and a boat.

The hurricane hit Pine Island hard with a storm surge that quickly filled the roads and flooded people’s homes.

One family was riding out the storm in their home when they noticed the water was quickly rising outside.

“The water had risen even further, and I’m like, ‘OK, this isn’t good.’ And then he came in and said we need to go. Grab whatever is important to you, and we need to go across the street,” said one of the women who swam to safety.

Getting across the street was easier said than done. The water rising and the wind pushing it made for a dangerous swim.

“We look over and we see Tom just holding up Brie, and they’re just going through… it looked like white caps,” said one of the women who watched as Tom swam with the family dog. “When I seen how fast the water was moving with the wakes, I was just thinking, ‘Please don’t let an undertow wipe them out.'”

Once they were across the street to safety, it was time to rescue the neighbors.

“Plain and simple, Mike and Tom saved our life,” said one of the men rescued by his neighbor on a boat.

Mike and Tom got on a boat and made their way to the neighbor’s house. The wind from the storm almost flipped them over as they approached the house.

Once everyone was inside, the storm was still trying its best to get to them. The family says they had to use a box spring to hold a door closed. They say sheet rock on the ceiling was falling in, and the windows were breaking around them.

Despite the harrowing experience, everyone involved said it wasn’t enough to keep them from staying in Florida. They all plan to stay and rebuild because Florida is home.

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