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Survivors of Hurricane Ian share harrowing stories: "I think we're going to drown"

Families reunited after surviving catastrophic floods
Families reunited after surviving catastrophic floods 01:59

Hurricane Ian upended everything for Cecilia Donald's family — their furniture, their home and their lives. 

Water flooded their Fort Myers, Florida, home Wednesday night, leading her to believe that they may not make it out alive. 

"We got on the counter at first and then I told my husband, 'I think we're going to drown,'" she said. 

They were so unsure of their survival that, at one point, Donald and her husband considered tying themselves together so no one would wash away. 

"But I couldn't find a rope," she said. 

Donald's daughter feared for the worst. They gave each other an emotional embrace when they saw one another for the first time on Thursday, after Hurricane Ian passed. 

"The last message 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 were going door to door conducting wellness checks because people were trapped in their homes. 

One elderly couple was rescued and brought to safety. 

Spencer Mumme posted a video to Facebook showing the water rising so high in his home that the only place his family could go was into the attic. He brought his 6-year-old daughter and 6-month-old daughter to safety there. 

CBS News met the grandparents of those kids on Thursday, as they desperately looked for their grandchildren. 

"I can't imagine how they feel right now. Our little grandbaby probably scared to death, crying all night," the grandmother said. 

CBS News was able to share the good news with the grandparents that everyone was OK. 

Now, the entire community begins a journey to recovery that is likely to last longer than the storm. 

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