Floridians with Wisconsin ties deal with Irma's wrath

Posted at 9:56 PM, Sep 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-11 23:19:30-04

People in Florida were dealing with the mess Irma left behind in its wrath Monday, and many of them have Wisconsin ties.  

Oak Creek native Jim Burger blocked his windows with furniture, stocked up with supplies and planned to wait out Irma inside his Coral Springs condo.  He ended up watching the storm from his balcony.

"We didn't really think it was that bad until we walked around the complex this morning and saw trees large trees completely uprooted," said Burger.

Burger is dealing with minor damage.

"The wind must have done some damage to our front door because the deadbolt ended up being damaged," said Burger.

He said a snow storm is worse than what he witnessed over the weekend since it didn't involve shoveling.

Naples was expected to be one of the hardest hit by Irma, with the storm surge predicted to be more than 10 feet.  Matt Holtan hunkered down at a condo inland away from his home near the water. 

"Trees are falling down in the street, you're hearing lamps shatter, all the fire alarms go off, all the building alarms go off, the power goes out," said Matt Holtan.  

He compared Irma to something Wisconsinites are all too familiar with.

"It looks like you're driving in a blizzard because you can't see anything," said Holtan.

Even after all that, he said Irma wasn't nearly as bad as expected.

"We all thought that there would be water completely over the all the houses up to US 41, which is about the first two miles of coastland," said Holtan.

Other than damaged hurricane shutters and some water on the dock, Hotan's home and business weren't touched.  He said even Irma won't make him rethink his move from Milwaukee to the sunshine state.

"You get a lot more blizzards than I get hurricanes so I'll take it," said Holtan.

It was a different story for Lynne Halleran in Keysville.  She said the storm was worse than she thought.

"It got really loud and you could see the trees bending over," siad Lynne Halleran, Keysville.

Halleran had lots of trees down on her farm and a damaged gate, but her animals are safe.

"Dee Dee my sheep was delighted.  She just now got back to her barn.  So she wasn't very happy she's been in the garage for a day and a half," said Halleran.