PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — After Hurricane Ian battered Southwest Florida earlier this week, many here at home were reminded of the devastation of Hurricane Michael.
For one man and his family, he has had the misfortunate of living through both historic storms.
CJ Myers moved his family to Lynn Haven in 2016. Two years later, everything changed.
Hurricane Michael ravaged the area.
“Because of that devastation, we had not had a lot of roots in Lynn Haven but as hard as it was to leave, we left and we moved to Miami to be with some family while we restarted our lives,” Myers said.
After getting back on their feet in Miami, Myers and his family moved across the state to Cape Coral, just outside of Ft. Myers, in 2020.
Little did they know that, again, two years later, they would find themselves surviving another major hurricane.
“It was just very, very scary, very devastating,” Myers said. “We have hurricane doors on our back doors. We saw things flying. Every time we would think it was okay we would peek out and there would be doors and roofs and pieces of fence, everything flying through the air as you can imagine but God spared our lives and we dealt with that for eight hours.”
Myers said luckily their home sustained only minor damage.
“When we got out of the storm and were able to leave our home the next morning to assess the damage, it was unbelievable that even though we had a new home and we were expecting damage, we didn’t have a lot of damage to our home which was hard to believe.”
When comparing the storms, Myers said his personal experience with Michael was much worse.
“The difference in Michael and Ian for my family specifically is we lost everything in Panama,” Myers explained. “We lost our jobs, we lost everything.”
He said Michael taught him proper hurricane preparedness, which came in handy when battling Ian.
“Your jobs can be replaced but your lives can’t and that’s what I would love for people to understand having gone through two major historical storms, you need to do what they are telling you to do,” Myers said.
Myers and his family will remain in Miami until things return to normal in Cape Coral so they can continue their lives.