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RSW reopens after Hurricane Ian

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Cary Barbor/WGCU
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Jean, Maya, and Wanda Fleurilus were in SWFL for Hurricane Ian and hope to relocate to the area.

It was very quiet for a Wednesday morning at Southwest Florida International Airport. The luggage carousels were still. The departure and arrival boards showed many cancellations. The sparse number of travelers headed to their concourses.

Judy Neher, 58, of Cape Coral was returning from a quick trip to Indiana. She was waiting for her husband to pick her up so they could go back and restore their home.

“We had a lot of damage. We had about 2 inches of water throughout our first floor. So it’s a bit of a disaster. My husband’s been holding down the fort. I brought him some supplies; electrical supplies and things like that. So I’m coming down to help him hold down the fort,” she said.

82-year-old Jerry Hunter looked calm as he waited to go to his gate. He was heading back to his home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

“I’m gonna go back and pick up my wife and dog and drive back in a couple of weeks. I came down just before the hurricane to secure my property and rode the storm out and now I’m going back,” Hunter said.

It didn’t occur to him not to return to his winter place in Naples.

Hunter continued: “I saw a lot of devastation, which made me think that I should keep my stuff battened down all the time.”

Jean Fleurilus, 45, along with his wife Wanda and their 3-year-old Miya, were grabbing lunch before heading back to their home in Brooklyn, New York. They arrived just before the hurricane to visit Jean’s brother and to look into relocating to Cape Coral. They stayed at his brother’s place in Port Charlotte for the storm, where things got pretty intense.

“We were all pretty scared. The wind was blowing everything off the roof. Water was coming in the house. But we stayed calm. The next day we woke up and we were okay. But it was chaos outside,” Fleurilus said.

Despite all that, Fleurilus said he loves Southwest Florida and still plans to relocate his family to the area.

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