ST. JAMES CITY
A couple in Saint James City considers themselves lucky after Hurricane Ian left their house in relatively good condition while destroying nearly everything around them.
They only had minimal damage to their home from a piece of plywood going through the side.
Although undeniably feeling blessed, the couple simultaneously feels the sting and sorrow for those dealing with far worse consequences from Ian.
Debris from damage caused by Ian. CREDIT: WINK News
Joseph Wood’s neighbor’s home wasn’t as fortunate after the storm.
“His house was there. Now it’s out there in the cul de sac,” Joseph said.
Where the home once stood and a family once lived has been reduced to nothing more than a scattered-about pile of debris.
A few doors down, another reminder of the storm’s unyielding power and relentless strength.
The roof is gone, along with a staircase to nowhere; Wood explained the pain he feels seeing it every day.
A home with no roof and a staircase to nowhere. CREDIT: WINK News
“In fact, it’s, it’s, it’s a little, it’s a little disheartening,” Joseph said.
Joseph and his wife Sabra can’t help but feel sorry for their friends while also feeling blessed for themselves.
“It’s a testament to the new building codes. Everything we have damage-wise is cosmetic. It’s not structural,” Joseph said.
When Ian roared ashore near St. James City with winds nearly 150 mph, a piece of plywood morphed into a missile.
That missile could have sliced into a wood frame home. But, because Wood’s house is made of concrete, it merely dented the home.
Leaving Joseph and Sabra to deal with the mess by themselves.
“Oh, my goodness, like three garbage cans that don’t even belong to us. And we still can’t figure out how they got in because our yard is fenced, but it was wretched,” Sabra said.
All these weeks later, the Wood’s still worrying about their friends and neighbors.
Damage caused by Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: WINK News
Those incredible winds and catastrophic storm surge tore up much of St. James City.
“Total devastation. Boats just tossed around; we had about a 60-foot boat that’s still down there that was up on somebody’s dock,” Joseph said.
Ever the optimist, they believe in better days ahead.
“I think it’s only natural to feel blessed that you’re in a better position. But it’s also thank you gives you more empathy for those that are in a much worse scenario,” Joseph said.
“Yes, we had no power. Yes, we had no water; our yards and landscaping, our cars, boats, and everything are gone. But we still had a safe home,” Sabra said.
Joseph and Sabra look at their house as the foundation of their future; strong, sturdy, and resolute.