Many Western New Yorkers who are living in Florida, or just visiting, contacted us on social media Friday to share their photos and videos with us of the hurricane and its aftermath.
Three native Western New Yorkers we spoke with experienced their first hurricane this week. Wesley Hoag is from Westfield and now lives in downtown Jacksonville.
“We're getting a lot of rain. We're getting a lot of wind. You could actually see if you look out there right now out the window, it's pretty windy. We're still getting some strong gusts,getting the ripple effect of the water. It's been quite an experience here," said Hoag.
Hoag was in the evacuation zone, but he and his roommate decided to stay put.
“When it's hitting you right in the face, and you've got that wind hitting you, the only thing that I can really compare it to is a bad snowstorm when that snow is just hitting you straight in your face," said Hoag.
Alex Wienke is from North Tonawanda and went to Disney World this week to visit his sister who works there.
"Driving through Disney was real eerie. There was no one in the parking lots, no one around," said Wienke. "It's been a little windy, but as far as the storm we were lucky enough that it shifted east just enough to where there's just a few downed branches and whatnot."
Megan Howes is from Lockport. She lives in Orlando but decided to drive to Tampa to stay with relatives.
"The aisles, just like the bread and the things that you would need for a hurricane, were just completely bare. It was so hard to find what we needed," said Howes.
After experiencing his first hurricane, Hoag says it was still better than being in a blizzard.
"With a blizzard and whiteout conditions, there's more of a fear factor there because sometimes you can't see what's ahead of you, but at the same time you don't have the flooding that we're having here, so I honestly probably want to do a hurricane than a blizzard,” he said.
Wienke is flying back home Saturday. Howes is driving back home to Orlando Saturday morning.