Former Fort Wayne residents eye-to-eye with Hurricane Ian
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Hurricane Ian is the strongest hurricane to make landfall on Florida’s west coast since Hurricane Charley in 2004, which brought 130 mile per hour winds to the area.
Ian made landfall Wednesday between Cape Coral and Port Charlotte, packing 155 mile per hour winds at times as it came ashore.
Former Fort Wayne resident Aaron Murphy and his family moved to Port Charlotte in 2015. This is the first major hurricane.
“We went through Irma, but Irma hit south of Fort Myers, Marco Island. So, I think by the time it got to us it was a category 1, which it’s still a lot of wind and rain, but nothing near what Ian’s going to be”
Ian is also bringing a storm surge in some places, up to12-18 feet on the state’s west coast, which experts say is unsurvivable.
Murphy believes his house, though, will escape the surge.
“We have storm surge warnings here and we’re at an elevation here where it shouldn’t be a concern. We’re roughly 20 feet above sea level, but there’s parts of port charlotte where, I have a co-worker that’s at 7. So, that’s very scary.”
The forecast for Ian’s path has been very accurate, with Southwest Florida in the target zone for more than 5 days and only slight shifts in the predicted path.
This lead time gave murphy and his family time to prepare, boarding up their windows and getting as much food and water together as they could.
They considered evacuating, but Murphy says it was too late.
“We were expecting it to hit north of Tampa and as it started shifting, we started getting the bands from the hurricane and we decided that it’s probably best not to try and drive on the highway. So, we didn’t really have a choice.”
Now murphy, his wife and kids are riding out the worst of the storm and while they are as prepared as they could be, if they get into serious trouble, no help will come until the storm calms down.
“If you call the police, ems, they’re not coming right now. After the fact, we just have to assess the situation to figure out what would be best.”
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