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CBS2 speaks with loved ones here and families in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian

Tri-State Area residents worry about family in Hurricane Ian's path
Tri-State Area residents worry about family in Hurricane Ian's path 02:45

NEW YORK -- Communicating during hurricanes can get tricky as phone and internet signals fail. It is that not knowing that has become torture for some Tri-State Area families with loved ones in Florida.

CBS 2's Dave Carlin has more on how they are holding up as Hurricane Ian lashes the Sunshine State.

There has been frustrating hours full of worry for those with family and friends in Florida. Eyes are glued to radar images of Ian.

"My brother and his family used to live on Long Island. They moved to Florida," said Arelia Tavaras of Riverhead. "They're right in the middle of it in Naples."

READ MORELive Updates: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida as powerful Category 4 storm

Tavaras said she feels helpless being in New York. She has failed to connect by phone and messaging apps to her family In southwest Florida.

"Well, I can tell you that I'm running out of here right now. As much as I love my friend and her restaurant, I have to go and track the storm and make sure our family is safe."

Early Wednesday morning, when lines of communication seemed more reliable, Carlin video chatted with a different family with Tri-State Area roots. They said Ian is their first Florida hurricane.

"You hear the winds. The winds are picking up," said Raf Hernandez of the conditions in Fort Myers. "This is our back of the house. Our pool ... we cleared out our patio furniture out of here."

READ MORETracking Hurricane Ian: Major hurricane makes landfall in western Florida

Two months ago, Hernandez moved his family to Fort Myers. He travels back and forth to Union County, New Jersey to run his business, Hudson Baseball Center.

When he'll come back up north is now up in the air. He said his only job now is keeping his loved ones safe.

"Alessandro, who is my 15-year-old. We have Daunte, Adriano," Hernandez said. "We stayed down here as a family. My wife also set up this closet under the stairs just in case some tornado comes swinging through here. So, fortunately with my house, we have automatic hurricane shutters for the patio doors, which are awesome."

He showed Carlin the hurricane windows.

"And right now you can see the winds are really starting to kick up more and they're really starting to pick up a lot more than they did just a few minutes ago," Hernandez said.

He also said the family has an extra supply of water.

"We filled up the tub," Hernandez said.

The top concerns right now are safety and survival, and then the clean up.

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