Hurricane Ian, the monstrous category 4 storm, crossed into Port Charlotte, Florida at 5:22 a.m. on September 28, 2022. We knew it was coming. When Port Charlotte issued a voluntary evacuation, my husband and I decided to ride the storm out. Why not evacuate? Well, we were largely caught off guard, in part because the storm was predicted to hit the Tampa metro area. By the time Ian’s direction unexpectedly changed we had no time to leave. Plus both, my husband’s and my vehicles, had less than a half tank of gas left. Gasoline was scarce with miles-long lines to get more fuel. We felt confident that our solid block home could weather the storm. We thought we had done everything right by putting up the hurricane shutters. But the storm was relentless, and it kept coming for 8 plus hours.
As it turned out, when Hurricane Ian made landfall, it was one of the most powerful hurricanes in American history. It became one of the most powerful storms to reach the United States mainland. Ian blasted through with frightening wind raging at speeds up to 150 mile per hour, snapping telephone and utility poles, ripping roofs from homes, and tumbling boats, mobile homes, and RVs like toys. It’s astounding when you see how several gas stations were refashioned by the twisting and turning in shapes of water slides and then wrapped the metal around gas pumps. Ian totally destroyed homes and shredded buildings, uprooted massive trees, and created catastrophic flooding turning streets into makeshift rivers. We are among the millions of people in southwest Florida who endured a terrifying ordeal and now (as of this writing) are left without power, internet, fuel, water, and little cellphone coverage.
It wasn’t long before all the preparations we had made became useless. We were in the eyewall of the hurricane. We sat in our home darkened by the storm shutters, as Hurricane Ian roared around us. We could hear debris thrashing against our roof and storm shutters. Massive trees which surrounded our home had swayed back and forth, back and forth for hours. They bounced hard against our home until two of them finally snapped and landed on our rooftop. One of those being 104’ in length with enormous branches still left intact. The branches punctured huge holes in our roof and ceiling. Our front yard now looks like a war zone. The Florida landscapes that I loved so much, which lusciously surrounded our home, are totally wrecked. One of the things we did to prepare for the hurricane, was to move all of the front porch furniture to inside of our home. This included a pair of rattan chairs, potted plants, and a porcelain hare. We knew these items could become damaged during the storm. But in our haste, we forgot about the Carruth sculpture that hung on the outside of our home, just above the doorbell.
Somehow the cheerful carving managed to remain perfectly intact amid by Ian’s ferocious wrath. The stone carving survived everything Mother Nature had thrown at it. The seemingly untouched figurine is one I purchased last year in Waterville, Ohio.