Hurricane prep begins as season starts and Florida recovers from Ian

Reporter: Lois Thome Writer: WINK News Digital
Published: Updated:

It’s time to get serious about your hurricane preparations.

Build a hurricane kit and know your zone and be ready to evacuate.

Those three things will make all the difference in the world should a hurricane strike.

“I don’t think there’s anything that can compare or give you any warning to what you’re going to see,” said Tammy Crum, a homeowner.

As a new hurricane season begins, Crum reflects on how far her neighborhood as come.

At her home in Orange Harbor after Hurricane Ian, a two-by-four pierced the roof and there was mud and twisted metal everywhere.

“We just kind of were in shock really,” she said.

Like many homes in the waterfront community, there was heavy damage along the shores of the Caloosahatchee and Orange Rivers.

From the WINK News drone you can see the empty pads and lots for sale.

“We had 18 People call 911 in the height of the storm, and they were told we’ll see you tomorrow,” said John Schoellner, community association manager.

It was the worst he has ever experienced.

“One woman said the water came in about three feet in that house. Three feet high, and she got up on her kitchen counter. That’s where she laid, weathered the storm out,” he said.

Nearly every home had water in it, with the wind ripping up carports and roofs.

The damage is still evident with entire homes gutted by the storm surge and left abandoned.

Rebuilding won’t be easy.

Schoellner said the park had never seen water that high.

“There were boats and boat lifts along this canal going towards the Orange River, and they were washed off or broke off,” he said.

One of those was Crum’s boat.

“Luckily, the boat went across the road there, and we were able to get it back fairly quickly,” she said.

Soon, the Crums will be back in their new home, lifted 5 feet higher, strapped down for stability and protected with hurricane windows.

“So, we really feel like we did what we could do to help our situation in the future, and we feel very comfortable that if, if something were to happen again, that we would be good,” Crum said.

Schoellner said, “I think when the hurricane warning comes out, they’ll put all their loose stuff away that they sometimes don’t do, and they will leave the park earlier than they have in the past. I mean, it was a real eye-opener.”

Another great way to prepare for hurricane season is to watch WINK News’ hurricane special on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. for hurricane season 2023.

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