News 6 chief meteorologist recounts Hurricane Ian one year later

Tom Sorrells joins News 6 at Nine

ORLANDO, Fla. – One year ago, we were all awaiting the landfall of Hurricane Ian, what would end up causing more than $112 billion in damage to the U.S.

News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells recounted the storm Thursday on News 6 at Nine, providing a debriefing and discussing how Ian will be remembered.

It was the scene all over Central Florida — from the streets of downtown Kissimmee to Geneva, Lake Harney, the Good Samaritan Village in Osceola County and many other places — water everywhere and people left out of their homes, with many still struggling to get repairs made.

“The water inundation was everywhere. It was a generational storm, and what I mean by that — and what I’ve tried to explain by that — is that it was going to be different than anything you’ve been through before, and for people who experienced it, you’ll always use that as a reference point, everything is biographical” he said.

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Sorrells said the first big storm he covered was Hurricane Hugo in 1989, recalling that he and others began to use it as a reference point.

“We started talking about life before Hugo and life after Hugo, and I think for people like who were there (in Good Samaritan Village during Ian), we’d never seen that before. We’ve lived through Charlie, Francis, Jeanne. We’ve lived through some rough storms, but we’ve never seen people floated out of a place like Good Sam. They will never forget it, their families will never forget it; if your mom or your grandfather’s there and then you saw them floated out, you will never forget that,” he said.

News 6 performed 37 hours of on-air coverage during Hurricane Ian, charting rainfall totals as much as 20 inches in Ponce Inlet and 21 inches in New Smyrna Beach, just to name a couple high readings.

“After everything rained out, I went up in the chopper and I was stunned by how, here there and yonder, some people were totally inundated, washed away, pulling stuff out of their homes. Other people a block and a half away with higher ground, no flooding, no power of course, but having a totally different life,” he said. “It was almost reminiscent to me of watching where a tornado went and where it did not, where did the water flow and where it did not.”

Watch the interview in the video player at the top of this story.

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About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.