Minnesotan in Cape Coral reflects on Irma experience

- Sue Tighe of Howard Lake, Minn. just so happened to travel to Cape Coral, Fl. two weeks ago – when Irma wasn’t even forethought.

“It was something I never want to go through again,” Tighe told FOX 9 via Skype Monday.

“It was pretty crazy down here and real nerve-racking. You can feel the pressure just from the wind that goes get through the windows and the hurricane shutters. I can’t even describe what I was hearing,” she recounted about what she experienced Sunday night.

Tighe is in Florida to look after her parents, Roger and Delores Fehlberg, formerly of Brooklyn Center, Minn. after Delores suffered an elbow injury and had to have surgery.

“She's really tough. They were talking about the surge, they kept saying it's going to be 10 feet which would've been taller than the house, and I couldn't figure out how I was going to get my mom up that ladder with a cast on her arm,” Tighe smiled, “I’m so relieved it wasn’t worse than it was.”

Tighe attempted to evacuate Tuesday, but even by then it was too late.

“Things were already off the shelves - couldn’t buy water, couldn’t get gasoline. It was pretty crazy down here and pretty nerve-racking,” Tighe said of Floridians stocking up early on necessities, “They act like this is the last meal they’re going to have. They’re not very forgiving; everybody wants what they want when they want it.”

Fortunately the Fehlberg’s family-home is equipped with Hurricane shutters and withstood Irma’s 130 mph winds.

“Minnesota, I miss you on days like yesterday,” Delores Fehlberg smiled, “I’m glad for the protection of good sound construction.”

The trio remains relieved to be together unscathed.

“We made it!” Tighe and her mother said ahead of a kiss. “We're safe, that's what matters. I hope everyone else is safe too after this horrific storm.”

Irma’s destruction was evident Monday morning, but not as severe as anticipated.

RELATED: PHOTOS from Irma show destruction

“My dad and I went out at six o’clock this morning and one of the major intersections was completely flooded,” Tighe said.

Downed trees cover the streets at nearly every turn, however, and businesses are clearly ravaged. The destruction left Tighe and her parents with limited options for food.

“There’s a Domino’s open in Cape Coral and the line outside is just crazy!”

In Cape Coral and surrounding areas extensive clean-up is required.

Photos Tighe shares give us just a glimpse of why when asked whether she prefers Minnesota’s storms over Florida’s she had a quick response.

“Irma, Irma is worse. I’ll take a blizzard any day –even the Halloween blizzard in 1991. I’ll take that over this!”

Irma is now a tropical storm, but is to blame for 9 U.S. deaths so far, in addition to 37 in the Caribbean.

As it stands Irma leaves more than 12.5 million people without power along the Southeast Coast.

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