Western New Yorkers in FL Brace for Irma

WNY'ERS Get Ready For Hit From Hurricane

Native Western New Yorkers who are living in Florida are bracing for Hurricane Irma.

That includes Rob Vishion, a retired New York State Trooper who moved to the Fort Meyers area four years ago.

He's prepping for Irma - his first hurricane as a Florida resident - by putting up hurricane shutters and putting away patio furniture and anything that might blow away in the wind.  

He also stocked up on water, food, and propane.  His in-laws drove from Buffalo to Florida to storm proof their house and his.  They stopped in Orlando on the way down to buy a generator.  Vishion's wife, son, and in-laws plan to head to Alabama to get away from Irma while he stays at the house.

The spirit of the City of Good Neighbors is alive and well in Florida.  Vishion said neighbors are helping each other out.  

"We have a lot of police officers and firemen in our community here, and they are mandatory [personnel and have  been] called in to work.  They are not there for their families, so we are going to help out the best we can," said Vishion.

Jake Unger is a West Seneca native and freshman at the University of Tampa.  He moved to Florida 12 days ago.  He plans to stay in his dorm as long at the school will let him.  He said classes have been cancelled until Monday.  The school is sending daily emails to keep students informed.\

Bernie Lettieri, a Cheektowaga native, is studying to get his Master's degree at the University of Miami.  He moved to Florida about a month ago.  He said the campus is closed the rest of the week.

"I went to get gas late last night just to fuel up my truck, and basically all of the pumps were tapped. Gas stations that had gas were an hour or hour and a half wait just to get to the pump.  I also went to the grocery store down here, Publix, and the shelves were cleaned.  Not a single bottle of water left, no bread," said Lettieri.

Lettieri has a one-way plane ticket from Ft. Lauderdale to Buffalo.  He is scheduled to fly out Friday afternoon - as long as his flight isn't cancelled.  

If he can't make it out of Miami, he plans to ride out the storm in his apartment with his roommate, a Florida native who has been through several hurricanes.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories