Matthew’s aftermath: Valley natives clean up the hurricane’s mess

Floridians who used to live in the Youngstown area missed most of Hurricane Matthew's destruction

jason wright hurricane matthew florida

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – People in Florida are reeling from the damage that Hurricane Matthew left in its path as it worked its way through the state Thursday and Friday.

Jason Wright, who used to work with WYTV, now works in West Palm Beach and had to report on the storm.

“We experienced pretty much like, 90 mile an hour winds. It was pretty crazy. We had to secure lights down, just pretty much make sure that we were safe, make sure that nothing was in our path,” he said.

Still, Wright says it could have been worse.

“We were very lucky it was about 25 miles offshore, so that was a very good thing.”

Jason Clark, originally from Butler, Pennsylvania, lives in the Fort Lauderdale area. He had to board up his home but luckily, didn’t see too much damage.

“We really dodged a bullet on this because a few more miles, just a deviation to the west a little bit more, and it would have been a totally different story today,” Clark said.

He said he knew things were serious when the locals started getting concerned.

“At the last minute, everyone was scrambling to get supplies. All the grocery store shelves were cleaned out, Home Depot, it was just a mad house to try and just get any supplies whatsoever.”

Rick Toman just moved from Warren to Palm Bay, Florida. He stayed in Port St. Lucie with his family Thursday night. They were supposed to be hit hard by the storm.

“At the time it seemed like the more dangerous decision, but we decided to be with family and that ended up being the better decision because it didn’t hit down there. It looks like it is hitting up north, where we were supposed to go, a lot harder,” Toman said.

Now he says it’s about picking up the pieces.

“In the next couple of days, we’re just going to take care of the outside here. Pick up the debris, fix our fences, see what the neighbors need. If the neighbors need any help, just kind of work together.”