Many in Florida are preparing to ride out Hurricane Ian as it storms ashore. That includes people in the Sunshine State with ties to Connecticut.
“This the first time where on my coast is where we're going to be having a direct impact. So it's definitely nerve-wracking,” said Joshua Labbe of Hudson, Florida.
Labbe – originally from the Griswold area – now lives north of Tampa and works private security.
“We are on standby right now for all of our sites in case something does happen, whether it be looting or anything like that,” Labbe said.
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He shared with us videos showing the impact of the rush to stock up on groceries and people waiting in line to fill up on ice and water before Hurricane Ian slams into Florida’s west coast.
“We went out [Tuesday]. We got a bunch of canned food and dry goods and everything. But yeah, it is definitely a struggle down here to find some essentials,” Labbe said.
Also near Tampa and preparing for the storm’s impact is Andre Bergeron who’s originally from Plainfield.
“Finding supplies, you know, making sure you have battery, flashlights, food for, you know, two, three days anyway. My in-laws are here because, you know, they live in actually the evacuation zone there and they're in a modular home. So they're staying with us, too,” said Bergeron, who lives in Land ‘O Lakes.
His work is shutting down Wednesday morning and he can then hunker down at home.
“Just buttoning everything up. By like [Wednesday] morning I want to, you know, have everything in from outside that can fly around you know. I have a thing with securing my garage door where, you know, the winds get too bad the garage doors like the only thing really to go,” Bergeron said.
These folks originally from Connecticut and so many others in Florida now are just hoping for the best.
“Right now it's, you know, thoughts and prayers with everybody that's over here. They're definitely a lot of people that need the support,” Labbe said.
Help is already on the way from our state. Two Red Cross volunteers from Connecticut are deploying to Orlando to support shelters.