People with Mid-Michigan connections bracing for Hurricane Ian

Anthony Decker, a Saginaw native, and Cape Coral, Florida resident for six months, evacuated to the east side of the sunshine state Monday to avoid Hurricane Ia
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:06 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) -

Anthony Decker, a Saginaw native, and Cape Coral, Florida resident for six months, evacuated to the east side of the sunshine state Monday to avoid Hurricane Ian. At this hour, Ian is tearing through the area Decker calls home.

“I have a 4-year-old son. And I have a nephew down here with me and my wife. You know, that was the main decision. You got to keep them safe,” Decker said.

Earlier Wednesday, we heard from Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter.

“We’re well over tropical storm winds. It’s raining extremely hard. So, the conditions are definitely getting worse,” Gunter said.

Gunter went on to say he hoped his residents got out in time.

“The storm surge is our biggest concern. We know that would have the biggest impact involving life safety. So that is very concerning for our city because we know we are in the eye of the storm,” Gunter said.

For his part, all Decker can do is wait for the storm to pass. Unsure of what he’ll find when he returns to Cape Coral.

“When we go back home, we know our whole house could be flooded. The roof could be ripped off. You know our pool cover could be gone. It’s just crazy,” Decker said.

And even though Ian is bearing down on his community, Decker says he has no regrets moving to Florida.

“I think it will really start paying off November, December when you guys are shoveling snow and we’re at the beach,” Decker said.

But right now, Decker is just worried about the next few days.

“Pray for everybody in Florida, you know, everybody on the east coast that’s going to get hit hard. And you know hopefully when we go back over there, we still have a home. But you don’t know.”

Bay City resident Kasee Beard is vacationing in Sarasota, Florida. She spoke with us just after 1:30 this afternoon as Hurricane Ian churned its way towards the sunshine state. Beard told us she is concerned for her friends to the southeast where Ian was supposed to make landfall.

“So, I’m honestly feeling really scared. I know it’s Mother Nature and we have to try to understand it as much as we can. But it’s definitely not a good sign right now, what they’re going through. And I’m hoping for the best for them right now,” Beard said.

We also caught up Saginaw native Carrie Bender and her cousin Trista Johns. The pair are in Largo, Florida which is near Clearwater. They say conditions there were quiet when we talked to them around 2:45 this afternoon.

“We are safe. Yeah, we are safe. Our phones are going off like crazy. But we feel that we’re prepared and that we’ll be fine,” Bender said.

Bender told us that she was ready for whatever Ian has in store and she doesn’t want those that care about her to worry.

“I mean I’m glad that people are concerned. But I’m trying to tell people that I’ll just post on social media rather than calling and texting all day because they’re just draining my battery that I might not have,” Bender said.

As for Beard, she expected the weather to get worse as the hours wear on.

“We have a plan A, a plan B, and a plan C. We’ve already executed spots where we’re going to have to hunker down if things get really intense here. So, I feel like we’re really prepared,” Beard said.