YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As Hurricane Ian picked up strength out over the Atlantic Ocean after pounding Florida, people in South Carolina were forced to come to a decision, stick it out or evacuate?
One of those evacuees is a Youngstown native who just moved to the Charleston, South Carolina area this year. He decided to leave town for the storm.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Carolina just after 2 p.m. Friday. This coastal area is known as the Lowcountry by South Carolinians. It’s known for heavy coastal and inland flooding when hurricanes sweep through.
“I hit the road about 6:30 yesterday, got here this morning,” said Raequan Reeves.
Reeves lived his whole life in Youngstown until February of this year. He says he’s never experienced a hurricane firsthand and was planning to ride out the storm, initially.
“So I went to Walmart. There was nothing left there. Oh, so it’s like, all right, maybe I should. And then, you know, seeing the development of the hurricane — I can’t swim. I had to make sure I get out of there,” Reeves said.
After seeing the depleted shelves, Reeves said he went home, packed a few bags and hit the road.
“That’s about 11 hours. A little over 11 hours. It took me 12 and a half to get here. Just getting out of Charleston alone, with the evacuations that they have, it was, it was really, really, really busy,” he said.
Reeves says he hasn’t heard of any damage to his home in South Carolina.
“My apartment is on the third floor and we get live updates from our apartment complex there. So I haven’t heard anything troubling yet,” he said.
He’s gotten updates from some of his friends, most of whom opted to stay for the storm.
“Another one of my buddies, he’s from up north. He’s from Detroit. He evacuated as well. I mean, his family left and then everybody else that I made friends with there, they’re all, they’re staying. They’re there. They said they’ve been there for a long time and it hasn’t been too troubling for them,” Reeves said.
Reeves says he’s glad he made the decision to come back to Youngstown and plans to spend the weekend with family.