Hello! My name is Tamara Glass. I live in the Peace River Nature Preserve in Arcadia FL with my husband, our dog Bentley, 2 cats and 5 chickens. Our home sits in the beautiful untouched natural Florida paradise. We sit at 25 ft above sea level and about 1 1/4 miles from the Peace River. On September 28th, that all changed with Hurrican Ian. The west side of the eyewall sat over our home for about 7 hours as a Category 3 Hurricane. The most scary experience we have ever been through. Sounded like a train was circling our home the entire time. We feared a tree would come down on the house or our windows would break, however Ian had other plans. The storm dumped 24+ inches of rain on us and the winds pushed the river down from the North. At 4AM the water started coming into the first floor of our home. We called 911 and got put on the list to be rescued but they couldn't tell us when they could get there. Thankfully one of our neighbors stayed and hadn't got water in his home yet and came over in a canoe to rescue us. When we left the house the water was at 2 ft inside and rising. Just before we got rescued the FIS Crisis Management team reached out to see if we needed assistance. After we got to a safe place the Crisis Management team helped us find a place to stay for a couple of nights until we decided what we needed to do. They were wonderful and stayed in contact.
The river eventual crested at 24 ft on October 1st, it beat the highest record by 4 ft and flood stage is 11 ft. The morning we got rescued we could only take a small suitcase and our corgi dog Bentley and we had to leave the cats in the house and our chickens. Our neighbor's kids climbed up to our 2nd floor and rescued our cats a couple days after we got rescued. Unfortunately our chickens didn't make it in their coop.
The flood water receded from the house on October 7th and we could finally fully access the property by October 9th. The first floor received 4-5 ft of water and all was lost. I bought a brand new Jeep in January that was parked in the driveway that was fully submerged in the flood. Our insurance will cover the Jeep, however due to our location from the river and elevation, flood insurance was not required so we didn't have it. FEMA will assist us some but it is not enough to cover all the expenses.
Everyone keeps asking what they can do to help. Financial help is always needed in these situations. I do not ask for help and try not to ask for help, I'm usually the one that is helping or giving.
We are blessed and thankful to have survived the worst Hurricane I've ever been through. Homes can be rebuilt along with new memories. If you want to and can donate it will go to help us rebuild and immediate living expenses.