NewsLocal NewsLee County

Actions

Island Park couple talks of storm surge, 16 days without power

Only a few thousand Southwest Floridians are without power after Hurricane Ian, including two longtime residents in one Island Park neighborhood.
Posted at 7:35 PM, Oct 19, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Our conversation with Gary and Sue Walch, of Island Park, on how they survived Hurricane Ian.

Sue: I'm starting to crack. I mean, I'm saying that we might have to leave for three months, and everything has to come out to go into storage. Now, how do you do that? Who's paying that?

Chris: Gary seems to have about as good of an attitude as you can have so far, but then.

Sue: I'm starting to crack was apart that really I have not seen since the day after the storm with all the damage here. It's really bad. This is tip of the iceberg. You should go around by the pool and down the other sections. I mean, the debris is so high, severe head, that pulling wallboard out you have takes up the world sets through down everything has to go out

Chris (walking on the living space and showing the high water): From here as right but it was still up to about here?

Gary: You felt like you're walking on water. Watching the water come up. Coming through the doors was getting a little high in the house came up about about six inches. Ready if we had to float, we could get up onto the roof. It was scary.

Chris: I was going to ask how scared you were doing this because this is what you see in a movie.

Gary: Yeah, that was quite scary. It was tough. It was just surreal. And the biggest problem now is trying to get our electric back. Man is every day they tell you it's gonna come on at a certain time and then it doesn't. It's like Groundhog's Day all day. Same thing over and over and over. Everybody's getting pretty upset about it.

Sue: I thought we were going to drown. I was five days out of surgery from my hip. And we're ready to blow up a queen size mattress and float at it. You know and I never realized were we really not that close to the coast. No, no one in this whole area really thought it would come through as high as it did. Maybe a couple feet fine. But not not six feet.

Chris: Aside from power anything else that you wish that could be available to Gary?

Gary: The charitable groups I've been coming around with with ice drinks. Plenty of water, food. It's really It's amazing how people come together with something like this.