Couple from Fargo share experience of Hurricane Ian

Ron and Karen Lee lived in Fargo for 18 years before moving to Florida in 2020. They compared their experience to the flood fights in Fargo.

Aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers.
Contributed / Ron Lee
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FARGO — Hurricane Ian's trail of destruction in Florida has stunned some of the most seasoned with hurricanes.

Ron and Karen Lee lived in Fargo for 18 years, and did what a lot of people do, and that's move down to Florida after they retired in 2020.

The couple spent the last few days hunkered down in their homes waiting for something neither of them had experienced before.

The Lee's compared the buildup of the hurricane to a massive blizzard in the Fargo-Moorhead area, hoping it would ultimately miss them.

It's an interesting mix of perspectives among those living in their Florida neighborhood, which is 15 miles inland from Fort Myers beach. Some new homeowners are worried about their safety, while locals are calming everyone down and telling them they will ride it out together.


The couple say early afternoon Wednesday, Sept. 28, was when the heart of the storm hit. But unlike a storm in Fargo, it didn't blow over in 15 minutes. It lasted six hours.

"So early afternoon yesterday, the winds really spooled up, I mean, just slamming into the house. You can just kind of hear it and feel it. And that went on for hours. And they warned us it would be like a tornado, except it's going to be for hours," Ron Lee said.

Ron and Karen Lee made the decision to stay just like they did in 1997 during the Fargo flood.

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"Much like in '97. We lived in south Fargo at the time, and we thought we were going to lose our place. We moved the furniture up. Same here, you just prepare. You help your neighbors, then the thing hits, and you ride it out. And then it's over. And now we're dealing with the aftermath," he said.

Running on the same power grid as the airport, the Lee's fortunately never lost electricity.

Plans for the next couple of days include helping out neighbors and waiting for the grocery stores to open back up, which they believe will be on Saturday.

The couples is also looking on the lighter side of all of this too. Thursday was a gorgeous day in the area, with temps cooling down from 90 degrees to 70.

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