I have been a area resident most of my life and living on the gulf coast of Florida is truly paradise and my home. I have always had tremendous respect for the power of mother nature, wind and storm surge is completely devastating. It has become a family "joke" when the weather is bad Mom is going to take cover or evacuate.
Since I moved to Florida in 1977, the stories have been told that the area is being protected from hurricanes because the "Indians" who once lived here knew if was a safe place, their burial grounds are all around here. They blessed the area to keep it safe from storms to protect their burial grounds." Well as long as I have lived here, it seems to be true. We have not been affected by a major hurricane that I can recall. Even in 2004, when Florida was hit by 5 hurricanes, hurricane Charlie was heading directly to Venice it took a sudden turn and went up Charlotte Harbor and hit Punta Gorda.
Whether an Indian folk lore, urban myth our luck just ran out with Hurricane Ian. So many people decided to ride out the storm. Their stories are scary and heartbreaking. I evacuated Florida several days before the storm hit and was on pins and needles watching the updates before, during and after the storm. Social media, especially Facebook, is how I received storm updates from our governor, local governments, friends and family who miraculously still had service.
There are many stories of families who survived the storm with minimal damage and those who have lost everything. We have local heroes who have stepped in and have done what they can to help out their neighbors, starting to rebuild our neighborhoods. My faith in humanity has been renewed and we are "Florida Strong!"
The damage and heartbreak that has been caused by Hurricane Ian is undeniable. If you, or someone you know needs assistance, please feel free to reach out; we will do our best to help out in any way we can. If you have decided that it is time for you to relocate, we are here to help you.
Below are resources for locals affected by the storm. As well as a link for those who want to assist in recovery efforts.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who had their lives turned upside down. It's time to come together and help bring some normalcy back to the people that truly need it. Again, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need anything at all.