North Port man rescues parents from rising waters

(Source: City of North Myrtle Beach)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 9:25 PM EDT
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NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - As Hurricane Ian forces millions out of their homes, residents are faced with having to live in hotels until water subsides from their houses and the power turns back on.

High waters turning roads into rivers have left some North Port neighborhoods unrecognizable.

Evacuees like Louis Concepcion have been calling hotels home for the last couple of days. Louis said the last time he saw his house, it was filled with at least 4 feet of water. While he evacuated just before the storm, his parents stayed. And like many others, they ended up trapped. That’s when Concepcion jumped into action.

Louis said when the storm passed, he drove to the neighborhood, left his car in a river of water, and grabbed the nearest canoe.

“The next morning when they told me they were sitting on the counters and that’s where they stayed overnight sitting on top of the counters to stay out of the water, waiting for somebody to try and come rescue them. I found my way back into North Port and found a boat somewhere and grabbed it and stared walking into the river. That was the only thing on my mind,” Concepcion said.

“I was losing stuff along the way. My car got drowned in the river. I didn’t care. I needed to get my family out of there, that was the number one concern. So I just went, took all my clothes off except for my shirt and my pants. Took everything off, just pushed a boat through the water and got them all out of there.”

Concepcion and his family are planning to stay in a hotel indefinitely until their neighborhood is deemed safe to return.