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‘It was like I’m in the movie’: Florida resident recounts Hurricane Ian experience

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ORLANDO, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - Edgar Soriano wades through water in his neighborhood after picking up items from his home which was flooded by rain from Hurricane Ian on October 1, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. (Paul Hennessy - Anadolu Agency)
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Oct 05, 2022 - 01:21 AM

NEW YORK (AA) – A Florida resident described the “scary” moments he endured during Hurricane Ian and said he did not expect the storm to bring the scale of destruction to the state.

“It was like a movie. It was like I’m in the movie. You know, sometimes you watch it, now you’re in it,” said North Port resident John Favere. The city is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) from one of the hardest-hit cities by the storm last week in Fort Myers.

“You’re always watching things on TV and you see other states and other countries that go through the same experience. But when you live it, it’s a different story,” Favere told Anadolu Agency.

“It was a scary moment,” he said. “It was a very big, thick experience for us. For me and my wife.”

Favere, 59, and his wife had to fight rising water in their home. Adding to the drama, he had to check the damage to his house after an oak tree fell on it. The tree damage also caused rainwater to enter his house from the top.

He fell through the ceiling and injured his leg, creating more theatrics to his ordeal.

“But I’m still here and you have to keep going because the water was rising. And I’m not the only house. Other houses were a lot worse. They had a lot of water damage,” said Favere.

Alligators, snakes inside water

Favere complained about city officials who he said were late in getting food and water to storm victims.

“We had to wait five days before we saw any type of water or food,” he said, adding those who helped each other right away were neighbors.

“We had to use our kayaks. Most of the people have boats and kayaks and we had to kayak over to the nearest highway and have the people give us food, water, gasoline for generators, because local police where I live, which is the North Port Police Department, would stop the people from bringing food to their loved ones,” he said.

Favere said he and his wife had to walk through 5-foot (151-centimeter) water to get to the highway. They saw alligators and snakes.

“We tried to find a place when we saw something and we carried like a stick or like something to protect us. They didn’t attack us,” he said.

“It’s not right that we have to do this. And if the government promises you to bring us food, why are we going out to the highway and treacherous waters? This is Florida,” said Favere.

The storm that hit the southern state has killed more than 100 people, according to multiple reports. Rescue efforts remain underway.

President Joe Biden called the storm the “deadliest” in Florida’s history.


*Servet Gunerigok in Washington contributed to the story

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