ELON, N.C. — The brunt of hurricane Ian has pushed through the Fort Myers area of Florida. A little south of where it was expected.
Video shows floodwaters entering parking garages and winds so strong doors are being blown down.
That's the place that one couple finding refuge in the Triad calls home.
Michael and Mary Abelson live in Fort Myers. Their daughter lives in Elon.
The Abelsons were alerted their home was in the direct line of the storm, so the couple got out of town.
"It's almost too much to wish, that there won't be too much damage, but that's the hope," Michael Abelson said.
Michael and Mary have been married for 53 years. It's a big milestone for the couple, and another milestone is coming - getting through Hurricane Ian together.
"Absolutely, the biggest we've experienced," Michael said.
"Absolutely," Mary Abelson said.
The Abelsons knew they had to leave, but made sure to prepare their home by turning off the water and electricity and packing their important documents, like passports and insurance.
Early Tuesday, it was time to leave.
"We got up at 5 a.m. to our phones going off to emergency warnings," Michael said.
"Yeah, that was scary," Mary said.
Two hours later, they hit the road for North Carolina.
"We put down our storm shutters, closed our shades, loaded the car and hit the road," Michael said.
They said driving out of Florida, there were spots with no gas and they saw emergency vehicles and other help from across the country heading into the storm.
"Hundreds and hundreds of vehicles going the other direction," Michael said.
"Seeing the medical stuff, it was a great feeling of support," Mary said.
A 15-hour drive later, the couple made it to their daughter's house in Elon.
"We're in our grandson's bed," Michael said.
While it's unfortunate circumstances, seeing family is what's helping them stay positive.
"That part's the good news, the silver lining," Michael said.
The couple said now they just have to wait - not knowing when they can go back home - or what will be left when they get there.
"It's picking up now, the next 24 hours, yes, cross fingers, cross toes, you name it, we just hope that when we get there that there's something left that we can get back into in short order; just think positive, we'll be okay," they said.
The couple said they have friends riding out the storm and will get updates as the storm rolls through. They are just praying for everyone's safety.