Rescuers continued to look for survivors late Thursday amid unprecedented floods that flooded a hospital in Fort Myers. More patients were pushed to safety by workers.
More than 2 million people in Florida were still without power Thursday night, and officials warned that it could be days, if not weeks, before power is restored.
The Category 4 hurricane made landfall as one of the fiercest ever to strike the United States. Ian destroyed the sole access route to Sanibel Island.
Many individuals who had been evacuated from their houses had no idea what they would find when they returned. A former Chicago couple who talked to East County Gazette on Thursday night was among the hundreds who were worried.
Terry followed up with the husband and wife, who had just moved into their new house before leaving a few days later.
Lynn Hudson-Brown had some concerns as Hurricane Ian barreled into Florida with 150 mph winds.
“I’m scared,” Hudson-Brown said. “I was more afraid of the house than for ourselves, since we’d gotten out of there.”
Hudson-Brown and her spouse just relocated from Chicago to Tampa.
“We had a greeting committee named Hurricane Ian,” she said.
Path of the Storm
Ian’s itinerary initially put Tampa in the direct path of the storm, but the couple still had supplies transported from Chicago.
“Our final pod hadn’t come yet,” Hudson-Brown said, “and it held everything like our generator and a lot of stuff you need to withstand a storm.”
Hudson-Brown and her spouse decided to take the warning seriously. They fled on Tuesday, taking the highway south to Fort Lauderdale.
They went past Fort Myers, where the hurricane would eventually make landfall. Hudson-Brown took several photos of the heavy clouds.
“When traffic began to pile up in the Fort Myers area, I pleaded to God, ‘Oh Lord, don’t let us get caught here,'” she said. “It was simply a gloomy sky.”
Homes Turned to Streets and Rivers
Ian devastated houses, turned streets into rivers, and decimated coastal communities. Hudson-Brown was concerned about the appearance of her community.
“I was praying to God not to drown our whole street,” she said.
And now, the Chicagoan-turned-Florida resident has weathered a Category 4 storm.
“What a great way to welcome us to Florida,” she said. “However, I wouldn’t exchange it for the winters again.”
On Friday, Hudson-Brown and her husband intend to return to Tampa. They opted to wait an additional day so that staff could clean the roads.
It is now assumed that their residence was not harmed. Despite the carnage surrounding them, Hudson-Brown considers herself fortunate.