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'This weather is extraordinary': Former Elmwood softball coach experiences first Florida hurricane

While Ian is the first hurricane Matt Hoiles has experienced, NW Ohio native Robin Gates has seen more than she can count and said this one is the worst.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Matt Hoiles is known around northwest Ohio as a softball coach. After taking a job in Florida a few months ago he expected plenty of sunshine and was prepared for the seasonal hurricanes, but has never experienced weather quite like Hurricane Ian.

"We've loved our experience down here to this point, but this weather is extraordinary," Hoiles said. "We're trying to stay as safe as possible."

The former Elmwood coach is now staying with friends in Kissimmee, Florida, and expects to be back home sometime Saturday. Until then, he's waiting it out and is anticipating the potential damage Ian causes.

"We hope for the best, we don't know what we're going to get," Hoiles said. "Everything we have back there has been tied down. We won't know until we get back Saturday."

Robin Gates has lived in Florida for years after moving from northwest Ohio. She said hurricanes are a regular part of her life in Cape Coral, but they still take planning.

"We're doing okay," Gates said. "We have a generator keeping our refrigerator cold, keeping our cell phones charged, trying to keep up on the weather forecast."

But she said it's hard to keep up on the hurricane's impact when the power is out and reception is spotty.

"When you're connected, you're connected, and you can stay up to date," Gates said. "Unfortunately, we don't have access to that. Our wifi is out. We lost power. We're just keeping an eye on things out the back door and out the back window."

As of 10 p.m. on Wednesday Hoiles and Gates both said they were doing fine, and Gates said the water in Cape Coral was beginning to slowly recede.

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