Family flees home during Hurricane Ian, rides pontoon boat thru storm

Pontoon on lake

Photo: Getty Images

Harlem Heights, FL - A Florida woman who survived Hurricane Ian on her pontoon boat is speaking out about the horrifying ordeal.

Sandy Frabel, her husband and four dogs didn't evacuate their Harlem Heights home prior to Hurricane Ian making landfall last week.

As the storm surged and water entered their home, Sandy and her husband decided to flee their property on the family's pontoon boat.

Sandy tells NBC 2 News "the water was coming inside of the house. We didn’t know because we were laying down, we hadn’t slept since the night before.”

Sandy says they needed to get to safety after their generator floated away, so they busted out a back window of their home to get outside, where they were met by waist deep water. 

Sandy says her husband unhitched their pontoon boat and used the vessel to escape the flood-ridden home, telling NBC 2 News "he went and detached it from the trailer and it floated right up. By the time we made it onto the pontoon boat we were level with the back patio roof.”

Sandy says her husband, father and four dogs spent the night on-board the boat, from 7PM to 8AM the next morning, telling NBC 2 News "still until this morning, I still felt like I was rocking on that boat. I can still hear the emergency sirens, because they were going off all night long. And I just keep hearing those, hearing them, hearing them.”

The next day, the Frabels used kayaks to get to safety.

The pontoon boat still sits on the side of their Harlem Heights home.

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