WATCH: NC1’s Meteorologist Anna Hamelin shares first-hand experience with Hurricane Ian
MELBOURNE, F.L. – Some people just can’t catch a break. For example: Anna Hamelin, NewsCenter1’s morning meteorologist, took a vacation to Florida just before Hurricane Ian hit.
“The eye of the hurricane actually passed over Melbourne where we were overnight. I didn’t get out and walk around in that, but both the day before and the day after, we got some pretty significant wind and rain,” Hamelin said.
The hurricane originally made landfall on the west coast of Florida near Sarasota, but passed over the entire peninsula to cross into the Atlantic ocean, affecting cities on the east coast of the state as well.
“It’s one of those events that even though it impacted the western side first and obviously significantly more than any of those other areas, we could still see some issues with storm surge on the eastern half of the state,” Hamelin said. “As it starts to push north, it is anticipated to push probably about a four to six- foot storm surge onto the eastern half of the state.”
Even now, the effects of the storm continue to be felt.
“Twenty- four hours later, we’re a couple hundred miles away and we’re still having pretty significant wind gusts and like things are still kind of coming off trees and smacking into houses. But,” she continued “People are able to drive if there’s some sort of emergency. It’s just similar to driving on a windy day in South Dakota.”
Anna is no stranger to hurricanes, but there were some aspects of Ian that were surprising.
“So normally after a hurricane you lose power and then its 90 degrees outside. It’s sunny, it’s hot, it’s humid, it’s Florida. This hurricane is the first one I’ve ever been in, out of all my years of being through them in Florida, that it was cold outside after the hurricane. It was in the 60’s afterwards, which is super weird because normally it’s up in the upper 80’s or maybe lower 90’s,” Hamelin said.
Hurricane Ian’s difficult- to-predict path and wide impact may have lessened the public’s preparation for it.
“People didn’t get to prepare quite as much as they necessarily normally would because it was predicted to slow down before it hit Tampa, but it just kept trucking on through. I think a lot of people on the West Coast weren’t quite as prepared as they normally would have been,” Hamelin said.