Florida man finds safety from Hurricane Ian’s path in Oregon

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:34 PM PDT
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EUGENE Ore. (KPTV) — A native Floridian found refuge in Eugene from Hurricane Ian’s path, days before it made landfall near his hometown of Clearwater, Fla.

Trevor Ackerman is no stranger to Oregon. He spent two years studying to get his master’s at the University of Oregon and spent one year living in Portland. He moved back to Florida less than two months before Hurricane Ian formed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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He’d planned to visit the Pacific Northwest later this weekend, but a powerful hurricane taking aim at Florida made him rethink his plans. With help from his family, Ackerman was able to fly out one day before the Tampa airport shut down. As someone who is used to hurricanes, Ackerman said this storm seemed different.

“Tampa Bay hasn’t been hit with a storm like that in over 100 years,” Ackerman said.

Storm preparations around the West Coast of Florida seemed normal. His neighbors were buying non-perishable food and extra water, boarding up windows and filling up on gas. But the strength of Ian concerned Ackerman.

“A lot of it is very low lying,” he said. “It floods during high tides and without rain, let alone a foot or more of rain, The storm surge is going to end up being and there’s just an unbelievable amount of properties and property value right along the water in that area.”

Seeing the Hurricane grow, Ackerman rebooked his flight to Oregon to get out of the storm’s path, leaving friends and family behind.

SEE ALSO: Waffle House closes several Florida locations as Hurricane Ian approaches

“Part of me as a native Floridian didn’t want to leave just in case something bad really did happen,” he said. “I wanted to be there to help my community as I’ve done before in past hurricanes, none of them are quite like this.”

Ackerman said he’s been in constant contact with his family and friends since he left.

“It’s just such a large storm that everywhere in all of Florida really is being impacted by it,” he said. “So it’s keeping in constant contact and there’s a little bit of worry.”

Ackerman is relieved the eye of the storm is missing his hometown. But he knows other areas didn’t get so lucky. He said Floridians will push through and come out the other side of this hurricane like they’ve done before.

“Crazy storms happen all the time,” he said. “It’s just a part of the culture in Florida, knowing that hurricane season is here and that anything can happen and just being prepared for that. I think that’s a lesson that a lot of people who move there learn very quickly is it’s not a joke.”