Chicagoans recount evacuation stories during Hurricane Ian

Thursday dawn revealed scenes of devastation in Florida, and numerous former Chicagoans are sharing their experiences in the wake of Hurricane Ian’s destruction.

Ellie and Catherine Bergerson are seeking refuge in Chicago. They are relatives of Mary Ann Ahern of NBC 5.

Ellie stated, “You never really know what you’re going to find when you get home.”

The family is grateful for the neighbors who were able to check on their home in Naples, which was severely affected by the hurricane.

Catherine stated, “We are really fortunate to have only a few screens missing from our lanai, the power is out, but other than that, the roof is intact and there is no flooding.”

Kevin O’Farrell, a native of Beverly, resides in Fort Myers. When Ian approached their home, he left with his family and two pets and stayed in a shelter.

O’Farrell stated, “We were essentially in a corridor, given 24 square feet per person, and there were four of us, so do the arithmetic.” “As we had two pets with us, we filled the entire vehicle.”

While inside, they were oblivious to the winds’ effects; but, “at one point, the wind became so severe that they stopped allowing us to walk outside,” O’Farrell explained.

Roy Santoro, who splits his time between Florida and Indiana and resides in North Fort Myers, has been required to stay abreast of neighborhood developments.

Santoro stated, “I probably lost my automobile because the storm surge did not come from the river, but from down the road.” In fact, it merely surrounded our building.

Thankfully, all of their friends and neighbors are unharmed, but after 48 arduous hours, they are unnerved.

“Imagine winds of 100 miles per hour rattling and penetrating your home for twenty-four hours straight,” Santoro continued. It is not comparable to a storm in the Midwest.

They are all awaiting word on when it will be safe for them to return.

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