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"This does not stop, we are now part of the community and this is a relationship that will go on for years."

Alabama man drives to Fort Myers to gift complete stranger a truck after he saw the story of her riding out the hurricane in her truck
Posted at 5:59 PM, Oct 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 06:48:39-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The stories of survival throughout Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian have been both hopeful and harrowing. Some of these stories making their way throughout the country, inspiring people from all over to drop everything to come and help complete strangers.

Like Marlon Wade, from Mobile, Alabama who heard the story of Iona resident, Sandra Wood. After he heard her story, he and his some made their way to Southwest Florida after hearing her story, "Standing right here in this street you said, 'We’re going to survive in this community because this community helps each other,' and I knew right then that’s the person I wanted to go help."

During hurricane Ian, Wood was at her home, thinking things wouldn't take a turn for the worse, "I was standing outside and the water was barely anything," but Wood says after she went inside for less than two minutes, "I came back outside and saw the surge coming towards me, I froze," it was then that she and her family knew they had to get out.

The family drove to a stranger's house, which had a driveway that sat higher than everybody else. They parked their black Dodge truck and rode out Hurricane Ian in their car, "That truck right there, three adults and two dogs, we sat there all night long," Wood recalled as she kept seeing the surges of water getting higher and higher, "I thought we were going to drown in that car."

When Wade got to Wood's home he says she was standing outside on her porch, "When he showed me the picture of the truck I said what's it going to cost me," Wade said remembering she thought it was too good to be true.

Once strangers, turned friends with a strong bond in faith, "He and Jesus brought me a truck," Wood said pointing to the sky, "This does not stop, we are now part of the community and this is a relationship that will go on for years," Wade said embracing Wood.

While Wade plans to stick around for some bit, Wood says she has comfort in knowing that her community has gotten a little bit bigger.