Brian Taff in Florida reports on Irma's aftermath

Monday, September 11, 2017 11:29PM
Brian Taff reports from Naples, Florida during Action News at 6 p.m. on September 11, 2017.


NAPLES, FLORIDA - Clay Cone of Naples, Florida spent much of Monday cleaning up outside of a house that, just a day before, he was fairly certain he wouldn't have anymore.''

Brian Taff reports from Florida


He and his family rode out Hurricane Irma at a nearby friend's house, fearful of the storm surge that, gratefully, never came.

"It was the worst storm that we've stayed for. We were here for Andrew in '92 and Charley in 2004," Cone said.

Resident Marilyn Gorman chose to ride it out in her house. She, too, is relieved today.

"God be with us. I thought we were all going to die, actually. I thought the storm surge was going to come in and take us all out," Gorman siad.

Aside from the surge, Naples was also largely spared from widespread destruction.

Despite the most ferocious winds that Irma delivered, with gusts above 140 miles an hour, much of the damage is limited to flooded roads and down trees. Most of the homes and buildings held up and that's largely thanks to stringent building codes adopted over the last two decades.

But where there was the rare combination of old trees and older buildings, there was a different result. One example the Action Cam witnessed, a fallen banyan tree that destroyed a nearby building.

Despite the eerie sunshine, all of southwest Florida remained in the dark. Millions of home are without power. Florida Power and Light says it could take a historically long time to get them back online. Doing so could require the rebuilding of the entire electrical grid on the state's west coast.

Still, as Clay Cone put it, "They have homes to come to, for most the part."

COMPLETE HURRICANE IRMA COVERAGE


PREVIOUS REPORTS FROM BRIAN TAFF:

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