FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — It’s a perfect autumn day standing on the driveway at Cheri Osborn’s mother’s home in Frankfort. It’s why she chose to come here rather than ride out Hurricane Ian in Pinellas Park, Florida.
“The hurricane thing is new to us,” Osborn said. “I’ve been very educated the last few years and especially in the last few days,” she continued.
Osborn said evacuations in her area, at first, were recommended (they were ultimately mandated), so she and her husband made the 15-hour drive, taking what they could and placing other important items in areas of the home where they might be able to weather the storm a bit better.
Sierra McLean and her fiancé live in the Tampa area, which according to first reports was expected to get the brunt of this storm, so they made hotel reservations on the other side of the state and will ride it out there.
“I even have my wedding dress in garbage bags so my fiancé can’t see it, and it’s hanging in the bathroom of our hotel room,” she said.
McLean is getting married in five months, and she’s very concerned about the venue they’ve selected as it is close to the water. Storm surge there could rise to ten feet or more depending on conditions. They evacuated for obvious safety reasons, but they’re also worried about a potential problem even once the hurricane clears out.
“We’re really not sure as far as power. If we don’t have power for a while that’s when we’re going to be like, ‘let’s take a visit to Kentucky,’” she joked.
Sierra and Cheri spent most of their life in Kentucky, so a storm like Hurricane Ian is uncharted territory. Same for Jason Jones, who unlike Sierra and Cheri, is staying put.
“All of the locals weren’t evacuating, so I thought the locals know more than I do,” Jones said as his home was being boarded up to protect the windows from sustained winds that could top 100 MPH.
“They’re saying once it hits landfall, it’ll be a category 3, which is 105-115 MPH winds, which is still something to be concerned about, but not enough to feel as if we had to go anywhere else,” he said.
Jason is expecting the worst of it to arrive by Wednesday morning.