Former New Phila Resident Prepares for Hurricane Irma

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Mary Alice Reporting:

(September 8th) Melbourne, Florida – A former New Philadelphia resident now living in Florida is preparing his home and kids for the impact of Hurricane Irma.

Rob Zifer says he lives in the city of Melbourne, which is about five miles in-land on the east coast. His home was recently built from concrete block, is up-to-date on hurricane codes, and has steel corrugated storm shutters. Zifer notes, in his community, there is a sense of comradery as everyone helps put up storm shutters and move items inside garages, and that there’s an eerie feeling since the community resembles a ghost town.

He says this will be his first hurricane experience, adding they will not be evacuating since the opportunity to do so is no longer practical.

“The highways are getting congested, and when I went out for fuel there’s about four gas stations around our home and out of those, only one of them had any gas left. Our luck we’d get on the freeway and get stuck, then we’d have to ride it [the hurricane] out in our car.”

Zifer comments he has two kids, an 11-month old and 5-year-old. Zifer explains he discussed the situation to his oldest child when he heard teachers talking about the hurricane.

“I had to explain to him that it’s a really big storm. That’s what he understands it as now and that we’ll be staying inside for whenever it comes through. He doesn’t seem like he’s scared at all [but] sometimes he says it [the hurricane] sounds like it’ll be scary and we just tell him no it’ll be okay. You’ll be safe.”

According to NOAA, Hurricane Irma is projected to hit southern Florida by 8am on Sunday.

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