TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Floridians are assessing damage and still processing the monster storm Ian.
More East Texans are heading to Florida to help areas impacted by the hurricane, which made landfall as a powerful category four hurricane.
KETK’s Lauren Margolis reached out to loved ones living in the path of the hurricane to see how they’re doing. She said they are all okay, but adds this was one of the scariest experiences of their lives.
“This morning we had no service. Yesterday, we had no service, so we just you know barely text people and say hello and goodbye,” said Anna Russo, who is living in Port Charlotte, Florida.
Russo’s home had a direct hit in Port charlotte, which is between Sarasota and Fort Myers.
She described how they were huddled together in their hallway hearing the intense sounds of strong winds which reached 145 mph.
“My house got a lot of damage, but that’s okay. Your life is more important,” added Russo, as the call cut in and out of service.
Ian then made its way through Orlando, which also saw extreme flooding and high winds.
“The wind was probably the scariest part. You could hear it over the TV. It was extremely loud and you could see all of the trees like falling and like being pulled by the wind,” said Orlando resident, Hope Gorby.
She said she has power, but others aren’t as fortunate.
“A lot of people in the area have lost power and are still without power,” explained Gorby. “There was a lot of roadways yesterday you just could not drive past or drive through because of how flooded it was”
Crews are headed out from East Texas now ready to help, like the Texas Baptist Men who hit the road Friday afternoon.
The Salvation Army also has East Texas volunteers driving to Fort Myers, Florida.
“We’re proud to have East Texans that volunteer that take time out of their schedule (and) out of their life,” said Jeremy Walker, the Salvation Army Captain in Tyler.
Gorby said she is grateful for the people sending aid from all over the country.
“I appreciate that the rest of the country sees this natural disaster that we’re going through and that they want to help us get back on our feet,” she said.
East Texas Salvation Army volunteers will be serving food to whoever is in need. They are also sending emotional and spiritual care officers to offer prayers and counseling for everyone affected.
KETK along with our parent company, Nexstar, will be partnering with the American Red Cross to raise funds for storm relief.
If you would like to help, you can click on this QR code.