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Morgantown native rides out Ian in Florida


A native of Morgantown said Hurricane Ian was his first, and likely the last hurricane he plans to experience.

Mark Furfari and his wife have a home in Venice, Fla., and stayed put as the storm approached.
Furfari and his family are former owners of Mario’s Fishbowl.

“We live in a ‘C’ zone and they were only recommending evacuation for those who live in ‘A’ and ‘B’ zones,” he explained to MetroNews Monday.

Living in a zone less prone to danger didn’t make the storm any less terrifying for Furfari.

“It was such a long storm. The thing lasted until almost 10 o’clock at night. It was 13 hours of just howling winds, debris flying, and 24 and a half to 25 inches of rain here in Venice,” he said.

Despite the storm, his home’s damage was minimal. He had learned how to brace his garage doors through the internet and they held. However, he had forgotten to brace the front door of his home. It was about to come off the hinges until he retrieved a two-by-four from the garage to shore it up.

“Water got to about five feet from the back of my home and about three feet on the street side,” he said.

Several shingles were gone from his roof and the netting over his swimming pool had a few tears, but otherwise he was fine. Neighbors on his street incurred water damage in their homes despite not getting any of the storm surge experienced in other parts of Florida with Ian. Power remained out Monday. Traffic was snarled and according to Furfari, gas stations had lines like it was the 1970s.

Furfari didn’t manage to completely dodge Ian’s wrath.

“I’m a pilot and I had a hangar at the Venice airport. That hangar is gone and my plane is destroyed,” he said.

He was awaiting an insurance adjuster to take a look at the plane.

Overall, it was an experience he’ll never forget.

“You just hold on and hope for the best,” he said.