The Worst Storm to Hit Florida Since 2005

Hurricane Ian


Being one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit the United states, hurricane Ian has affected southwest Florida in a terrible way.  At least 119 deaths have been reported, and millions of dollars of damage has been done. Although Florida seems so far away, even students and teachers at Knoch have been affected by the storm.

 On September 28, it struck the Gulf Coast, went through Florida, and later made its way to South Carolina.  The hurricane was recorded as the second-deadliest hurricane to ever strike the United States.  The wind speed was 155 miles per hour, but the storm only moved 2 miles per hour, creating massive flooding and destruction.  

Florida, especially Fort Myers, has been one of the top places to move when you retire.  Many people from all over the country have moved there because of its nice weather.  I have been down there multiple times to say that it could be known as a “second Pittsburgh”.  On days when there are Steeler games, or any Pittsburgh sport, all you see around you is jerseys supporting the teams.  

There are a select number of families who either have relatives in Florida, or own a place there.  Mrs. West’s parents live in a town called North Port.  It was directly hit by the hurricane. 

“Thankfully, they are not near the water, so they were not affected by a storm surge.  Their street was a creek for a bit, but, other than the ditches being filled up, after the storm left, they were ok,” West said.

“Thankfully, they are not near the water, so they were not affected by a storm surge.  Their street was a creek for a bit, but, other than the ditches being filled up, after the storm left, they were ok.

— Mrs. West

 “They lost about 6 huge palm trees in their yard and just paid a couple guys who drove in from Alabama with their chainsaws and have been sleeping in their truck for two weeks now (how’s that for entrepreneurs?) about 3k to remove them.  Their mailbox was ripped out of the ground by the winds and the cap to their sewer system blew off as the sewers filled up with so much water, the lids popped off,” West said.

Junior Ava Santora’s parents own a condominium in Bonita Beach. 

Santora said, “Our garage was completely underwater and destroyed.”

Although it seemed to have been destroyed, Santora believes the condominium should be back to normal by Thanksgiving. 

Another senior I interviewed said that her parents own a condominium as well, in Fort Myers. 

Luckily, it is on the 4th floor so it did not get flooded.  It is located right on the bay, so everything that was on the ground floor is totally gone due to the storm surge, that includes their garage. 

They said, “I think it will take a year or more to get everything completely back to normal or how it used to be.”

I am supposed to go down to Fort Myers in January.  Luckily the place we rented didn’t get hit with the storm surge so my family and I are still able to go.  Unfortunately, it will not be the same.  Our original plans were to go to Sanibel Island to spend our days at the beach, but the beaches aren’t safe because of all the debris the storm picked up. Many businesses and restaurants are destroyed because of the storm as well.

While interviewing Mrs. West, she mentioned that her parents live about two streets over from the parents of the guy who killed Gabby Petito.

She said, “My mother and her FL buddies feel that there was a lot more attention on that case than the devastation of Hurricane Ian.  I am not sure I agree, but she said there are so many people down there who have lost everything and there is not a lot of support for them.”

There are many ways that we can help those who need it.  For example, the American Red Cross is accepting donations.  Many other organizations are doing the same.  Just search “how to help Hurricane Ian victims” on the internet, and many answers will come up on ways you can help.  Even though Florida seems so far away, we can still find ways to help them through this disastrous time.