Tampa, Florida Transplant From Fargo On Surviving Her First Hurricane

TAMPA, Fla. (KVRR) — Hurricane Ian has moved across Florida leaving destruction in it’s path, with some people losing everything.

Tampa was initially in the bullseye, but missed the direct hit from Ian.

The damage is much more widespread south of the city.

KVRR’s TJ Nelson talked with Denise Peterson who just months ago retired to Tampa after living in Fargo for decades.

She talks about riding out and surviving her first hurricane.

“I have to admit it’s all a blur because we were getting all of these ‘Get prepared, get prepared!’, said Peterson.

“Well it was days ago it was coming beeline for Tampa and then you say, ‘Well, do I evacuate or not?’. If you evacuate you deal with the roads, they’re packed you know, on and on. You try to get wisdom from your neighbors but nobody really knows.

I got sandbags. I was geared up for, what I would consider I’m not by the ocean, I’m so grateful I didn’t buy by the ocean, so tempting. I considered overland flooding.

I lived through the floods of I don’t know was it ’97? Grand Forks, Fargo, fires and so I was ready for overland flooding at least to the best of my ability.”

TJ asked, “What made you decide to stay in Tampa and not evacuate?”

To which Peterson responded, “Because I’m far enough from the sea and you look at all the maps they tell you what to do.

I feel really confident in the Tampa leadership for one thing. And they said ‘Go here, find out what evacuation zone you’re in’ and I’m not even in the zone. Um, you just make a choice and then you live with it because there gets to be this time where you can’t, you can’t leave so you live with it.

But you know I have, I have a bit of survivors guilt because I know so many friends who they don’t know what they’re going to go back to.”

“So the good news is you survived your first hurricane in Florida?”, asked TJ.

“Yes, (laughs) that’s right and you know that’s enough. One is enough,” she said.

“Any reconsideration about where you retired?,” TJ asked.

“Oh, yeah,” said Peterson.

“That goes through mind but you know everywhere you go right now has something. You know fires out West, I know how to deal with a blizzard I can tell you that and it’s different.”

Sure is.

And Peterson really lucked out: her whole neighborhood kept power and they just have some twigs to rake up.

The best part? No flooding.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News