After Irma, residents along Imperial River ready for anything

Families who live along the Imperial River in Bonita Springs know the feeling of an impending storm; Hurricane Irma left their streets flooded in 2017.

They’re relieved Hurricane Isaias will miss Southwest Florida, but they’re still prepared for anything.

“Irma was the worst,” said Liston Chan. “It’s a feeling not everybody experiences. It’s gut-wrenching, it plays on your nerves, watching that water come in your house and you can’t do nothing about it.”

“We stay out of the house for two months. Everything go away, furniture, clothes,” said Ada Garcia.

It’s why no matter the model, no matter the cone, no matter how small the risk, the people who live along the Imperial River stay prepared.

“I have about six months worth of food, storage,” Chan said.

“We have everything here; we have a gas barbecue,” Garcia said.

As they wait and watch the weather, the two neighbors do the one thing they’ve learned to do no matter what.

“Of course, I pray every day. Every night before I go to bed, every morning before I wake up,” Chan said.

“Yes, yes I do, every day I pray,” Garcia echoed.

Why do they pray so much and so hard? Irma is still painful to remember.

Chan said when the storms roll around, he and his neighbors feel forgotten. He said they’re a small community and they wish more work was put into protecting them, but this is the reality of where he lives, and all he can do right now is prepare and encourage others to as well.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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