FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne residents Keith and Kathy Winter were expecting to return home on Monday after a trip to the Cayman Islands, but that was delayed due to Hurricane Ian.
Winter spoke to WANE 15 via Zoom on Tuesday as he and his wife waited for their new flight on Wednesday, September 28.
He said they’re on 7 Mile Beach, on the west end of the island, and they’re thankful because Hurricane Ian moved further west and didn’t directly hit them.
They only got a couple inches of rain and winds up to 50 MPH, but what has rocked people on the coast along the water is the surge after the hurricane.
“We have a storm wall that is protecting us, where as the property next door doesn’t, and it’s literally sliding into the sea,” Winter said.
The Winters arrived in the Cayman Islands on Thursday, September 22 expecting to leave days later on Monday. They were immediately told a storm was coming and they could either try and escape before it came or wait it out.
Winter said his son lives in Florida and has been through many hurricanes. His advice was so stay.
“We decided we were going to ride it out and make it another life experience and it has been,” Winter said.
He does worry about Florida now that the hurricane has passed and is building steam over the warm waters of the gulf.
He had been through one other hurricane during a trip to Outer Banks. Winter, the head groundskeeper for the Fort Wayne TinCaps, is an outdoorsman who likes to be outside.
During that storm, he was in the thick of it. He said Ian is different.
“The one I was in before in the Carolinas was a quickie. This one is not only slower moving and going to effect millions and millions of people, but it’s also going to do a lot of damage,” Winter said. “Florida, I know, they’re bracing for, uh, it’s going to be rough. It’s going to be rough on the east coast where they’re getting rain now. The surge is not going to hit them, it’s going to be a lot of rain and the west coast, Tampa and south, they’re going to get the brunt of those storm surges and it’s wicked.”