Former Capital Region resident hunkering down in Florida

LAND O’LAKES, Florida – All across the west coast of Florida residents are either packing up or hunkering down.

One of those residents, Terry Aunchman, grew up in Whitehall, New York, and tells News Channel 13 when Hurricane Ian makes landfall, he intends to stay right where he is.

[anvplayer video=”5137683″ station=”998132″]

Aunchman is a school administrator in Pasco County where classes have been cancelled for the rest of the week. That’s given him and others in his neighborhood time to prepare for the imminent storm.

Land O’Lakes is about 20 miles from Tampa, and a little more than 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists have projected 12 to 18 inches of rain, along with sustained wind gusts in excess of 75 miles per hour in that area.

Folks in Terry’s neighborhood have been busy this week boarding up their homes with plywood or, in some cases, with heavy metal shutters.

[anvplayer video=”5137673″ station=”998132″]

When you live in Florida and it’s hurricane season, Terry says people know what to do.

“You hunker down,” he says, “You just stay in your home. You hope that you’ll still have communications, electricity and tv to stay up with what’s happening.”

Aunchman still remembers living through Hurricane Charlie in 2004.

“Charlie was a similar storm,” he recalls, “It was bearing down on the Tampa Bay area and it took a jog and went south of us but it still had a pretty good impact, going through the state in the Lakeland area, Polk county, and even orange County and Orlando, and that’s where a lot of folks who left our area went over inland and that got hit over there even more so than it did in the Tampa Bay area.”

Because Aunchman’s school has been designated a hurricane shelter, he says he’ll volunteer at the shelter when the storm hits.