(WKBN) -As what’s left of now Tropical Storm Ian crosses central Florida, those who survived Wednesday’s landfall are taking stock of the damage.
Chris Wiand lives near Saint Petersburg and has family in Mercer County. He says his family’s been relatively fortunate, especially after deciding to shelter in place instead of evacuating inland.
“Around us, we’ve seen downed trees. We’ve had people who have been without power,” Wiand said. “We were expecting to get a direct hit and glad we didn’t because Orlando wound up getting nailed harder than we did.”
While Saint Petersburg was spared the brunt of the storm, many of the roads and bridges in and out are still closed to traffic.
“You get to the point where you once they tell you to go and that window closes, you’re buckled in, Wiand said.
On Wednesday as the storm was making landfall, we spoke with Jenna O’Hara of Hubbard who fled the Fort Myers area with her mother to escape the impending storm surge. She said Thursday that she is glad she did. The roof of her family’s condo was torn off and her car is under water.
Wiand said the decision to stay or go makes you follow the path that decision leads you. In this case, it’s being able to stay on your own for days until things clear up again.
“It’s making sure you have enough water for every person in the house, filling up propane tanks so at least we can use the gas grill if we have to,” he said.
For now, Wiand said it’s a matter of waiting until schools and businesses re-open and he’s able to go back to work.
“It’s just part of living down here,” he said.