Evansville native dealing with Hurricane Ian at new Florida home

Evansville native dealing with Hurricane Ian at new Florida home
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:50 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 3:45 PM CDT
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TAMPA, Fla. (WFIE) - Scary moments for an Evansville native living on the west coast of Florida.

The winds of Hurricane Ian bashed through southwest Florida, bringing flooding from the storm surge along with it.

At the beginning of the week, Tampa was in the crosshairs. As the days went on, the track went more and more south. But Tampa residents like Evansville native Shelby Wilkinson heeded the warnings, first hearing about the storm while she was visiting Indiana.

“I was visiting family and my boyfriend stayed back,” Wilkinson said. “I flew back Monday.

“And they shut down the airports on Tuesday,” Wilkinson continued. “That’s really when the pressure started to sink in.”

Wilkinson and her boyfriend went into preparation mode for their first-ever hurricane, a Category 4 storm. The two decided to stay put, saying they felt safe, especially as the storm tracked more to the south.

“We bought sandbags, filled them up, boarded up all of the doors,” Wilkinson said. “We feel really good about the preparations we did for our house.”

The storm tracked through central Florida as it made its way to the other side of the state, leaving stark damage on the west coast.

“We have been talking to our family and friends like crazy,” Wilkinson said. “We are all praying and thinking of the rest of Florida that are going to get impacted a lot worse than we are.”

Wilkinson told 14 News on Thursday morning that she and her boyfriend are fine. She says they have some minor damage to clean up, but they’re feeling thankful and praying for the rest of Florida.