LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Kentucky could feel the effects of hurricane Ian long after it makes landfall – but some Kentuckians stuck on the coast are already feeling the effects a lot sooner.

Gracia O’Brien and her husband bought a home in Bonita Springs, Florida, just last summer. They traveled down there last Wednesday for what they hoped would be a quick trip before Ian threw a wrench in those plans.

“We’ve just – practically when we’re not busy, been glued to the TV to get updates,” O’Brien told FOX 56.

What was originally just a quick trip has turned into a race to return home. The O’Brien’s were just stopping in to check on contractor work at their south Florida vacation home but are now getting their first lesson in hurricane prep.

“You have to bring everything in, that’s lawn chairs and potted plants, just anything that could become a projectile,” she said. “Make sure windows and doors are secure utilities are turned off, it’s quite a process.”

The original plan was always to leave Tuesday, even before Ian was a threat, but the forecast formed quicker than expected.

“We obviously waited too late for the purchases of water and batteries and things because shelves were already emptying out before we even thought about it,” she said.


Up until Monday morning, O’Brien was unsure if they’d still be on their Tuesday flight. She said leaving any earlier would cost as much as $700 and their only vehicle is a rental car.

“At this moment we are very hopeful we won’t actually be here when it makes landfall,” she said.

Now with the hatches battened down, O’Brien will wait and see what destruction Ian brings while staying positive about the prospect of losing their home.

“It’s just a piece of property and we would be sad and we’d be out some money, but in the end, it’s replaceable everything down here is replaceable except my husband who I’m taking home with me,” she said.

Gracia said they do have a neighbor they call a “year-rounder” who is planning to stay behind and will keep an eye on their home and provide any updates.