|Published:||Sep 10, 2012 4:52 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 10, 2012 5:16 PM EDT|
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Hurricane Donna crashed ashore in Southwest Florida 52 years ago. Jim McKay remembers the terror of that day, as he tried to save himself, his wife and two small children. The storm was a Category 4 when it came ashore in Collier and Lee counties.
"We were living in Naples, and I had boarded the house up but put holes in the boards so we could see the storm. It was scary. We saw tree branches blowing down the street. I made a mistake in not taking down the TV antenna on the roof. The wind snapped it in two, and drove one part through the roof. That let water pour into the house," said McKay, now 82.
"I was afraid the water would weaken the beams and cause the roof to come down, killing all of us. So, I made a decision to go out in the storm, and drive the family a few blocks to my mother's house. The wind lifted the car off the pavement. We did make it,but the wind also ripped my son right out of my arms. I dove on the ground to get him and roll up to my mother's house," said McKay.
"We made it inside, and survived. It was a blessing to get through it," he added.
McKay credits the clean-up crews for starting the real estate boom in Naples, and transforming the town into an exclusive resort and retirement community.
"People saw all this land and 12 miles of beaches. They found realtors and started buying," he told WINK News.
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