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NW Ohioans in Florida share experiences as Hurricane Ian hits

While many Floridians evacuated areas at high-risk as Hurricane Ian approached, not everyone left.

TOLEDO, Ohio — In Cape Coral, Florida, Toledo native Emily Reese has experienced many hurricanes in the 40 years she's lived in the state. But she said Hurricane Ian is one she will never forget.

"This storm is different," Reese said. "I have never encountered a storm of this size and strength."

Despite the hurricane's danger, Reese is staying put because the work she does is needed. She said she works in a senior community and was on a response team.

About 80 miles north in Bradenton, northwest Ohio native David Werning is also riding the storm out.

"The trees are blowing like crazy," he said. "I would guess we're blowing at around 60 mph winds now."

Werning said he lives in a building on the fourth floor, so he isn't worried about flooding.

"I have hurricane windows that are good to 150 mph," Werning said. "It's probably safe to just stay put but I'm surprised to actually see some cars drive by every once in awhile and I can't believe people are out in this."

RELATED: 'This is a catastrophic storm': How to help people affected by Hurricane Ian

Natalie and Debbie Krell, also from northwest Ohio, boarded a Disney cruise on Monday and saw effects of Ian while out in the ocean.

"We were in the Bahamas yesterday and it was raining real hard there and we got on the ship and headed to Castaway Cay not far from here, and they tried to dock the ship but the winds were so high they couldn't dock the ship," Debbie said.

The two said they always come to Florida during hurricane season, but have never actually run into one. Now, they're just along for the ride.

"We have no idea where we're exactly going, we're just trying to drive around it, we don't have a location yet," Natalie said.

RELATED: Hurricane Ian swamps southwest Florida, trapping people in homes

RELATED: Officials: Migrant boat carrying more than 20 people sinks off Florida during Hurricane Ian

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