Hurricane Ian’s impact stretches beyond Florida as BYU-Idaho students are also feeling its effects.
Richard Zuchlewski is an on-campus student at BYU-Idaho, but his family lives in Cape Coral, which is about 25 minutes away from Fort Myers, where the hurricane made landfall. They evacuated the day before the hurricane hit and just recently returned.
“Thankfully nothing in our house was hurt too badly,” Zuchlewski said, “but we’ve had a couple of trees knocked over in our yard and a couple of our neighbors had a bit more damage like the shingles on their roofs, but everything seems to be alright for them, but I have a friend who lives a couple of blocks south of my family and her house ended up burning down.”
Jacob Aliff is an online student living about 30 minutes outside of Orlando in St. Cloud. He says storms are nothing new to residents. Their storms work like clockwork, showing up at about 3 o’clock every afternoon.
“This was definitely worse,” Aliff said.
Although his area was not directly hit by Hurricane Ian, residents still saw power outages, lost internet and experienced heavy rain. Orlando has also been battling flooding.
Orange County, where Orlando is located, has opened the boat locks to relieve some of the flooding, but that means residents like Aliff are seeing more water in their direction.
“It's pretty upsetting but I feel kind of helpless because there’s nothing that I can do. I drove around and helped people get sandbags,” Aliff said.
Sandbags are used to keep water at bay. Residents place them in their doorways to prevent water from seeping into the house.
Although the Zuchlewskis and Aliffs are recovering quickly, many others have a long road ahead before life gets back to normal.