Many thousands of Iowa natives now live in Florida, including former Webster City resident Mindy Bolden, who rode out Hurricane Ian on Wednesday afternoon and evening at her home just south of Tampa.

Bolden says the remnants of the now-tropical storm are still apparent and fortunately, the damage in her area isn’t too severe.

“It’s windy and we’re having gusts still. The rain has completely stopped here in Bradenton,” Bolden says. “I am four to five miles from the beach and lots of trees down, lots of signs down. I haven’t seen anything major yet. I’ve seen a couple of houses and cars with the trees on them.”

While many tens of thousands of people evacuated from the area, Bolden says she decided to stay put. Her only regret is not having better stocked up on necessities before the storm. “Right now, I’m standing in line at a grocery store, the only grocery store that’s open. There are 200 people out here standing in the wind to get supplies,” Bolden says. “We’re having gusts, maybe 30 miles an hour. There’s not a lot of people that have power here. My neighborhood was one of the very few that never lost power.”

Cellular service is iffy, she says, and at one point, it was estimated two-million Floridians lost power in the storm.
“They don’t have an estimated time for people to be restored,” she says. “I think the county that I live in, there was 90,000 out here in Manatee County. Sarasota County, which is only six or seven miles from me, had over 200,000 people without any power.”

Bolden says this is, by far, one of the worst storms she’s experienced in the ten years she’s lived in Florida. She plans to devote the day to cleaning up her yard. Ian, meanwhile, has headed back out to sea and is now targeting the South Carolina coast.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)