DENVER, Colo. (KMGH) — As the cleanup continues in Southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian, more people are sharing stories about how they survived.
“I lost everything. I haven't slept,” Karen Coderre.
She hunkered down at her home in Fort Myers Beach because she was under the impression the hurricane was going to hit the northern part of the coast.
“Every time I close my eyes, I just see the refrigerator falling over and the ceiling coming down,” she said.
Her daughter, Lauren Miller, waited helplessly hundreds of miles away in Denver for the storm to pass, knowing there was nothing she could do.
“I lost contact with her and I didn't hear from her again for about 30 hours,” she said.
The hours in between felt like days as Hurricane Ian ravaged the coast.
“I was terrified. I just kept picturing her in the house with it flooding or her being swept out of the house with the winds,” Miller said.
After the storm passed, Coderre says she grabbed whatever belongings she had and walked around for help.
“I think, I believe it was only an act of God that I am still here,” she said. “It was worse than a nightmare. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my whole entire life.”
Right now, she has no other choice but to start her life over. A waterfront view is no longer in her sights.
“I'm going to need to relocate. And I don't think I ever want to look at the beach ever again,” Coderre said.
This story was originally reported by Pattrik Perez on Denver7.com.