Hurricane Ian

Chicago Natives Share Stories of Evacuation During Hurricane Ian

These former Chicagoans described stories of last minute flights to riding out the storm in a shelter to avoid Ian's wrath.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Daylight began to show the country images of devastation in Florida on Thursday, and several former Chicagoans are sharing their stories after the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

Catherine Bergerson and her daughter, Ellie are taking refuge in Chicago. They’re relatives of NBC 5's Mary Ann Ahern.

"You don’t exactly know what you’re going to come home to," Ellie said.

The family said they’re grateful for neighbors who were able to check on their home in Naples, an area hit hard by the powerful hurricane.

“We’re very grateful to say that we just have a few screens out in our lanai, the power is out, but other than that the roof is intact and there’s no flooding," Catherine said.

Beverly native Kevin O’Farrell lives in Fort Myers. He evacuated with his family and their two pets when Ian turned towards their home, staying in a shelter.

“We were basically in a hallway, you're given 24 square feet per person, there’s four of us, so do the math there," O'Farrell said. "We had two pets with us so we filled it all up.”

They couldn’t feel the impact of the winds while they were inside, but as time went on, "at one point the wind got so bad they stopped letting us go outdoors," O'Farrell added.

Roy Santoro lives in North Fort Myers, splitting his time between Florida and Indiana, and he's had to keep apprised of developments from neighbors.

“I probably lost my car because the storm surge actually didn’t come in from the river, it came from down the road," Santoro said. "And it actually just ended up surrounding our complex.”

All of their friends and neighbors thankfully are safe, but they’re unnerved after an incredibly difficult 48 hours.

“Imagine 100 mile an hour winds rattling your house, cracking it open for 24 hours straight," Santoro added. "It’s not like a storm in the Midwest.”

They’re all waiting to see when it’s safe enough for them to go back.

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