SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Like many people in Florida, a Sioux Falls native is just beginning to assess the widespread damage after Hurricane Ian slammed the west side of the coastal state yesterday.

When millions of Floridians evacuated, Sara Plucker decided to hunker down and weather out the storm at her home in Cape Coral.

Plucker and her boyfriend Steve, have lived in Florida for almost five years, but this was their first hurricane.

“I didn’t know what to expect, because we’ve gone through blizzards we’ve gone through ice storms in South Dakota and I know what wind is, but I had no idea the storm surge was probably the scariest part, because the water rose so fast, it was like a river with white caps going down our street,” Plucker said.

Hurricane Ian is now believed to be one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the U.S., with sustained winds of 150 mph.

Don: Why did you and Steve decide to stay and hunker down and weather the storm?
Sara: A lot of it had to do with our neighbors who are from Florida and have experienced a lot of hurricanes, they told us we’d be fine and you’ll make it through. Almost all of our neighbors stayed, but they did say this morning this was the absolute worst they’ve ever experienced.

Plucker’s house received minimal damage; mostly to the pool area.

“I was kind of worried about the roof, but it stayed on and no holes in the roof beside where the attic fan came out, so we put a board over that during the eye of the storm,” Plucker said.

They have no power or running water.

“We do have plenty of bottled water, but it’s still an inconvenience, because you go to the bathroom and you try to wash your hands, try to wash dishes and you know you don’t want to be camping in your own house, but it’s definitely challenging, I’m thankful that we are all okay,” Plucker said.

Even though this was her first hurricane, Plucker says she was never too worried.

“Um, a little bit before the storm started….I didn’t cry, it was going through my head; my parents told me to evacuate, my son texted me…. now I’m getting emotional,” Plucker said.

Her emotions are intact today and she’s grateful to everyone in South Dakota who reached out to her and wants to say thank you.

“I do appreciate all the calls, all the messages, and when you get that big blizzard in South Dakota I’ll be texting and messaging everybody there making sure you are all okay,” Plucker said.

Plucker says they’ve been told it could be a few weeks before their power is restored.