Pine Island is located in Lee County off the coast of southwest Florida. It has a population of 9,000. It’s been one of the worst-hit areas by Hurricane Ian; now, horror stories are coming out from survivors.
On Saturday, October 1, rescuers began saving various individuals from the island. They found residents still in shock and terrified by the devastation from Hurricane Ian’s 155-mile-per-hour winds.
Pine Island suffered massive damage, being literally isolated during the hurricane which hit on Wednesday.
The only bridge connecting the island to the mainland was destroyed by Ian’s immense force, stranding residents with nowhere to run in the midst of extreme winds and flooding.
Pine Island Residents Describe Horrifying Ordeal
Imagine the despair of the island’s residents who were stranded with nowhere to run as Ian hit. The intense winds and high flood waters began to rapidly approach, with residents describing the helplessness as water began to rise in their homes.
Not everyone could get off in time; some residents such as Joe Conforti were stuck when Ian hit.
Conforti said the storm really shook him up. According to Conforti, he and his wife stayed indoors on a table and it was possible to see houses, boats, and cars being dragged away by the water out their window.
A neighbor of the couple lost absolutely everything, but was fortunately rescued by the first rescue boat that came after the peak of the storm.
As soon as rescuers arrived on the island, many residents rushed away. Though some others refused the request to leave and tried to save what was left of their stuff.
Paul and Helen Koch were one couple who was rescued, along with their 17 pet dogs. They said they didn’t think they would survive when they saw the water start rising around them into their house.
Pine Island, better known as the paradise frequented by visitors, locals, water sportsmen, and fishermen, is now flooded and massively damaged from Ian’s awful destruction.
Rumor: Pine Island and Sanibel/Captiva might go mandatory evacuation because the infrastructure can’t safely support residents. No vehicle access, no water, power, gas… also many police, fire and EMS live off island.
— Chris FL Tornado (@ChrisFLTornado) October 1, 2022
Pine Island’s Current Status
Pine Island remains without electricity and water supply. More scary reports also keep showing up. A woman, well known on the island, is still missing. Everyone’s afraid she’s was carried away by the force of the water.
Another resident, Linda Hanshaw, reported most of her acquaintances are alive and managed to be rescued, despite all material loss.
Some individuals are still refusing to leave the island or leave their homes; first responders are still on the scene working.
Pine Island is in terrible shape. My friend lives in St. James City. Here’s her report. She also said she is grateful to @elonmusk, who quickly supplied Pine Island with satellite communications!!
She is also desperately trying to barge her horse off the island. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/MQxHcl5nf1
— DRAMAGRL 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 (@DRAMAGRRRL) October 2, 2022
Hoping For the Best
This is definitely one of the worst-hit areas of Florida; there will be a lot of damage sustained. Let’s hope there hasn’t been loss of life, despite the fact that now seems very likely.
Across Florida, Hurricane Ian has now been confirmed to have killed over 70 people.
This article appeared in FreshOffThePress and has been published here with permission.