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Harlem Heights resident says her son saved her life during Hurricane Ian

Posted at 9:20 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 21:20:37-04

HARLEM HEIGHTS, Fla. — Part of showing you how our community is impacted by Hurricane Ian includes showing you the bravery of so many in Southwest Florida.

That includes how two boats, that some saw as 'no good', actually were key elements to saving lives in our community.

"People are like 'oo you should get rid of those crappy boats'... but they saved us."

This Harlem Heights resident did not want to be on camera, but she tells FOX 4 she didn't know what was going to happen when flood waters started rise inside of the home she's lived in for more than 20 years.

"I didn't even know if we were gonna make it."

But, her son did.

She says he went out to the back of their home. When he was unable to untie the boat, he swam into the lake behind their house to retrieve it.

Being rescued by her son is a moment this local mom says she won't forget, but she says it's what happened next that makes her so proud.

This son's mission to help mom turned into something bigger.

She tells FOX 4 he and a few friends then went house-to-house in search of others trapped inside of their homes.

"They went around the neighborhood and they picked up like 20 more people."

Jeremy Anderson is one of those friends and says helping out was not an option.

"We had to go up in their house and ask them do they want to come out. Some people didn't want to come, but we basically had to force them come out and we were like 'Nah. We have to get you to higher ground."

People in the area say the young men took the people they found to a local community center.

A moment this mom says she will never forget.

"I cried for three days straight. Not because of material things, but it was the Grace of God. He let us live."