Storm surge from Hurricane Ian sent waves crashing across Fort Myers Beach.
A small red beach house was yanked from the ground and sent floating down the street. The video has made its way across social media.
The home is owned by Annette Roszowski and Tod Pistone. The two of them and their two dogs inside the home survived.
WINK News spoke with Roszowski on Sept. 27, the day before Ian crashed against Fort Myers Beach and Southwest Florida.
She said, then, that she wasn’t evacuating. Her spirits were high and she thought it would be like any other hurricane.
Her boyfriend Tod felt the same way. He thought they might need a new roof, maybe even windows or storms.
But instead, the power of the storm washed their home away. All that is left behind is a staircase.
Locals know it as the red house by the Lani Kai.
Others know it too since the video from Storm Chase Max Olson showed the home get dragged away by a 15-foot storm surge. It’s been viewed 2 million times.
“You’re not just watching a house float down the street. We’re inside the house that whole time,” Roszowski said. “There was a point when water started going into the street, that was probably like the starting point … The water was probably 3-and-a-half feet in the backyard for quite some time … Once the house started moving, it was literally as quick as that video.”
Pistone knew it was time to go.
“I texted my sister the last message the house is shaking; I have a life jacket on, I love you,” Pistone said.
Roszowski tied their two dogs, Roxy and Jaxon, to her life jacket.
The couple fled through a window that was submerged.
Pistone pushed one of his dogs underwater and through the window.
By the time he was able to get out, the house had moved across the street.
Roszowski held onto a tree.
Pistone held onto a telephone pole but was bleeding so badly that he let go and floated to a house. He said he was by himself bleeding for about three hours in the house.
“She was still out there with the dogs and I was 100% sure they were gone,” Pistone said. “Even if she made it, I was 100% sure that neither one of my dogs would make it being out there for 3 and a half, almost four hours.”
They weren’t the only ones to lose their things.
“Next time they tell you to evacuate, take that seriously.”
Both dogs are OK and they’re taking it one day at a time.