CLEVELAND (WJW) – When you try to call the Fort Myers area, land line service is gone and cell service is sketchy at best. If you are able to get through, the call could sound very bad.
“We were in the closet, in our safe space trying to wind up that weather radio and hoping to get some information on high tides, low tides, if the storm had passed,” said FOX 8 web executive producer Talia Naquin.
Naquin lives in Cape Coral, Florida, which was right in the path of Hurricane Ian. She sent video before the power, water and internet went out.
In an interrupted phone call Thursday, she described what happened to her home.
“We have a big tree in our backyard, that parts done, but the storm ripped the lanai off the house, took a lot of chunks of roof with it,” she said.
Naquin is doing okay, considering that she along with more than two million other Floridians didn’t have power Thursday afternoon.
The damage is severe not only from the high winds but the storm surge and flooding that followed. Reports are that, at one time, the water in downtown Fort Myers was as high as five to six feet.
Former Orange resident Bailey Schleifer lives and works in Fort Myers. He says when he heard about what was coming, he packed up and went to stay with relatives who are further inland.
He says his apartment is on the first floor about a mile and a half from the water, so he’s not sure what he’ll find when he can go home.
“Right now, as of this morning, all of the bridges are closed and I can’t get to my apartment without going over the bridges and until those open and the water in those areas starts to go down, I can’t think about the next time I’ll be able to check it out.” Bailey said.
He says there are a lot of trees and wires down even in the area where he’s staying right now. The power and water are both not working.
Schleifer hasn’t been in Florida for a full year yet and to see the damage done to his new hometown hits hard because he’s met so many great people and been to many great businesses who now face an uncertain future.