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Woman desperately searches for mom in Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian

After watching her mom’s house under water after Tropical Storm Ian slammed Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, one mother of two is anxiously seeking for her own mom.

Carole McDanel, 78, told Beth Booker, 32, that she intended to stay in her Fort Myers house as Hurricane Ian approached the Florida shore.

They’ve lived in that house for the past 24 years, Booker expressed. She’s a really obstinate, set-in-her-ways great lady who is powerful — tough as nails.

Booker and her husband went from their home in North Naples, Florida, to Fort Myers the day before the hurricane to assist strengthen her mom’s impact windows, put up shutters, ensure she had lamps, batteries, and water, and relocate all family artifacts to higher ground.

Booker admitted that she shoved her out. Booker replied to her mom to come stay with her. Her mom told her that she was alright and was more concerned about her; she didn’t leave since the hurricane was originally headed for Tampa, and they honestly didn’t believe it would be as disastrous as it has been.

As Ian descended on Florida and the storm surge slammed Fort Myers, Booker was chatting to her mother. As the flood levels rose, finally drowning the first floor of Booker’s childhood house, reality started to sink in.

She questioned her mom if she was okay, and she answered, she is not afraid and going to make it through this. She is going to be just fine.

Friends were asking Booker whether her mother would be okay shooting photographs and movies to show the world Ian’s anguish, and her mother — always an explorer with what Booker describes as a treasure trove of life tales — was all too happy to comply.

The photographs revealed the risk as well as a first-person perspective of the storm.

On Wednesday, September 28, Ian made landfall in Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. The hurricane produced 150 mph gusts, a life-threatening storm surge, and has left an estimated 2.5 million people without power across the state.

On Sept. 28 at 3 p.m., Booker claims she was on the phone with her mother, pleading with her to get a whistle in case the flood levels rose higher. She advised her mom that if the worst happened, she should go to the highest point of the house, the roof, and use the whistle to summon aid.

That was her final conversation with her mom.

She was attempting to find this whistle she had for her dog, who died in August, Booker explained. That’s when the lines cut, and the fact that Brooker hasn’t heard from her is really difficult .

Booker has been ringing her mother’s phone frequently in the hopes of getting through.

Booker has also been texting, using iMessage, SMS, and a walkie talkie app.

Booker decided to share photographs of the water and her mother’s tale on Twitter in the hopes that her mother would be saved.

Booker has been on the phone with local emergency personnel and volunteer rescue organizations with the assistance of both friends and absolute strangers. Friends have volunteered to help her find her mother’s house.

All she can do is wait until rescue crews and other authorized individuals can reach Booker’s mother.

Booker described a specific closeness she has with her mom, one that makes her feel as though it’s just Booker and her mom against the world.

Carole, she continued, is her grandmother: She was Booker’s biological father’s mother. Booker’s  father was a single father; her parents divorced when she was quite little.

When Booker was five years old, her birth father died of coronary artery disease, and she was adopted by her grandmother and “papa.” Her birth mother, whom Booker claims she “barely knew,” died in a vehicle accident three years later.

Booker is caring for her two boys, aged 7 and 4, while waiting for rescue teams to find her mom and return her home in North Naples, Florida.

She said she’s thinking of all the things she enjoys doing with her mom: going out to eat, listening to her wild and crazy stories while drinking wine, and watching her finally appreciate being a grandma after being an adopted mom so quickly after her son died.

Booker only got to call her grandmother for a brief time in her life, Booker said, noting that her sons enjoy visiting grandma because it allows them to stay up late, eat snacks, and go night swimming. It’s been so amazing to see her actually enjoy the grandmother position with her kids.

Booker is unsure how her mother will react to the internet’s involvement in this encounter. She’s either going to be really furious with her or incredibly thrilled that she was able to unite the internet behind her, she continued.

She does state she understands what she will do the next time she sees her mother. She’ll jump on her and squeeze her and weep her eyes out, but she’ll be incredibly thankful, Booker stated. She’ll be able to breathe again once she sees her again.

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