Venice, Englewood residents reeling from damage from Hurricane Ian

ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 8:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 8:36 PM EDT
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VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - Winds of around 120 miles per hour damaged homes and businesses up and down the Suncoast and uprooted trees.

“It was just like they say -- at times it was like listening to a train coming your way,” said Bruno Mollica, a Venice resident.

He said he witnessed the destruction of the historic Venice Theatre. “Low and behold, after I heard a big boom, I looked out the window and saw this right here.” The force of Hurricane Ian tearing the back side of the building apart.

“It’s one of the hardest challenges we will have faced in our 73 years, it’s a pretty devastating loss,” said Murray Chase, the theatre’s producing executive director.

There’s optimism the theatre will rise up from this damaging blow, stronger and better than ever. The Venice Ranch Mobile Home Park, like many others throughout the area, taking a hard hit as well.

“You don’t expect this, you always expect the storm, but this one was big,” said Jeff Edwards, a Venice Ranch resident.

Business owners like Jim Long of Cormick’s in Venice was having to deal with damage to his business and concerns with his home.

“It’s overwhelming. Like everybody, I’m not sure where to start,” said Long.

Just south of Venice, Englewood was near the eye of this monster storm. A huge tree ended up on top of the home of one of the residents.

“This was like Charley on steroids, it was a lot more intense,” said Kaila Schlake, an Englewood resident.

Residents are hoping and praying they never have to go through this type of storm ever again.

“It was more just the sound of the wind and the unknown,” said Ernie Bago, a Venice resident.

Cleanup of the big mess is now underway. That’s something that will be going on in the weeks and months ahead.