Hurricane Ian destroyed everything for Cecilia Donald’s family – their furniture, their home and their lives.
Water flooded their home in Fort Myers, Fla., Wednesday night, leading her to believe they might not make it out alive.
“We got to the counter first and then I said to my husband, ‘I think we’re going to drown,'” she said.
They were so confident of their survival that at one point, Donald and her husband considered teaming up so they wouldn’t be washed away.
“But I couldn’t find the rope,” she said.
Donald’s daughter feared the worst. They shared an emotional hug when they first saw each other on Thursday, after the passage of Hurricane Ian.
“The last word I got from her was that the water was waist high and she didn’t know if they were going to make it,” Donald’s daughter said.
Residents throughout Donald’s neighborhood shared similar stories. Fire and rescue teams went door to door doing health checks as people were trapped in their homes.
One elderly couple was rescued and taken to safety.
Spencer Mumme posted a video on Facebook showing the water in his home rising so high that the only place his family could go was the attic. He brought his 6-year-old daughter and 6-month-old daughter there to safety.
CBS News met with the children’s grandparents Thursday as they desperately searched for their grandchildren.
“I can’t imagine how she feels right now. Our little grandchild was probably scared to death, she cried all night,” the grandmother said.
CBS News was able to share the good news with the grandparents that everyone is okay.
Now the entire community is beginning a road to recovery that will likely outlast the storm.