“It was just like river out of nowhere,” said Sharpe, 74, describing the apocalyptic storm surge. “There was nothing there, and then suddenly like foot of water in in house”.
Frightened, Sharpe and her husband, Lonnie Henry, frantically called 911. Even before the dispatcher picked up, however, the couple didn’t know one will come to their aid.
Horror stories of survival surfaced in southwest Florida on Thursday like first Rescuers rescued hundreds of people from homes turned into islands, surrounded by still deep flood waters. One elderly woman told how the water rose so high that it just six inches of space in than to breathe. The couple described the look out window and saw several large fish swimming past.
Many have described how they were caught off security – settlement in when Jan came with reserves of non-perishable food, water and generators on hand, only to find out that their homes did not have match for storm.
In communities near Fort Myers Beach, the water was so strong that it toppled buildings, crumbled concrete walls, and pushed hundreds of sailboats and dumpsters. of legs. AT one refueling, the big boat is over up parked next to the gas pump, as if ready to fill up. Dozens of people were still waiting to be rescued from trailer parks, residential neighborhoods and luxury waterfront developments. in separately of the state, which home to the big senior citizen population.
Everett Bailey, 56, said he was asleep on sofa and woke up up see how the water starts to spill into it one-story home. He immediately went through flood get it car.
“Water was in in car too,” he said. “But my car started up, and I drove it to church.
He is back home when the water receded, he found his submerged belongings destroyed.
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A few doors down, 70-year-old Ann Dalton considers herself lucky what flood stopped a few inches from reaching the inside of in house her family owned since the 1980s. But as she watched the muddy water swirl around her house On Thursday, Dalton said she still had her worst night yet. of her life.
“It’s strange that it was like river of currents, and it wasn’t calm water at all,” she said. “It pulsed, and under water it also pulsed. It was very scary because we couldn’t go anywhere. We would like to have just fell down”.
AT one dot, dalton husband oliver martin, looked outside and saw the school of fish.
“They weren’t small,” Martin, 75, said. “A fish, eight to twelve inches in size, swam past.”
In another division off McGregor Boulevard a. main transit route from Fort Myers to Fort Myers Beach — Laurent Boche, 58, estimated Jan brought a 13-foot storm to his home which is about 11 feet above sea level.
“It was just like five, six hours of pure madness, said Boche, who basically fell into a trap in his division on Thursday as parts of in street left under two feet of water. “I was able to sit in chair and just watch the water and the trash come in, in, in”.
Boche’s neighbor Karen Mohr, 69, said she never again underestimate the hurricane.
As she watched the flood waters carry the trash down her streetwind began to shake her door.
“I held the front door because of the wind and I know what else to do, she said. “I don’t know what else to do. I thought the ocean was about to pass.”
In the center of Fort Myers, the Calusahatchee River flooded. over, flooding several blocks inland. In areas closer to the Persian Gulf of Mexico, the water rose so high against structures – especially trailers – he shot down over interior walls, said Mike Hastings of A Gulf Search and Rescue company based in Texas. team as he tried to test up on stuck residents in one trailer park.
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He remembered how he saved 77-year-old woman in life vest who said she had just six inches of space between flood waters and its ceiling.
“She fell into a trap,” Hastings said. “We had to dig her out out. Everything around her collapsed, and she could not out of her trailer even though the water has receded.”
About 25 miles to the river. north, in Punta Gorda, the wind scared the residents of the Creekside RV Park campsite, who said hurricane yan’s eyes are gone directly over them.
Deborah Clark, 57, and her husband lived in their 40 foot trailer for in past two years while they build a house near, nearby.
Around 8 am on Wednesday, Clark woke up. up when her device began to shake.
“My intuition said, ‘This bad” said Clarke. who there were no expected winds pick up So soon.
She rushed to the community club, which she said was built weather a Category 5 hurricane. In a few hours, 30 other residents huddled inside. For next six hoursthey looked out windows how Hurricane Yang rolled over over their trailers.
“It sounded like planes are flying overhead,” Clarke said. “But you knew they weren’t planes. And then you could almost hear the whistle sound”.
When the wind died down, residents found that about 40 of 50 entertaining vehicles which was parked on the site was turned upside down down or destroyed. One was pushed into the pond.
“For most of in people it’s them homes” said Eric Clark, Deborah’s assistant. husband. “Everything they own in these campers.
The Clarkes stated that they had decided not to evacuate Punta Gorda forward. of storm because it was originally predicted to make landfall near Tampa. When they realized on Tuesday that the forecasts had changed, Eric Clarke said he was worried that the roads would be cluttered. with traffic.
Many said they won’t hesitate to leave next time powerful hurricane rolls in.
When the flood waters seeped into her home Wednesday, Sharpe and her husband watched from the kitchen table and prayed, trying to remain as calm as possible.
“We were just sitting there in water,” she said, adding, “this storm made to me true believer” of in power of wind and water.
When they looked out through the window, the couple saw “passing roofs and floating insulation.” down in street. AT one point, neighbor’s laundry machine was sucked out of a home. Another neighbor’s 600-pound toolbox floated away.
“By midnight, everything was almost ready,” says Henry, Clark. husband, said. “And when we got up we started cleaning this morning up”.