'I just banged on the window': How one Florida woman was rescued during Hurricane Ian

Margaret Vazquez-Patterson has lived in her home in Port Orange, Florida, for 25 years. But flooding from Hurricane Ian has left her home a shell of what it used to be. Many homes in her neighborhood also devastated with some considered unlivable.

Vazquez-Patterson considers herself lucky because she still had a home to come back to.

"They barely got out and their homes have been destroyed totally," she said of some of her neighbors.

Hurricane Ian dropped more than a foot of rain over her town and as rising waters flooded her home, Margaret became trapped and terrified.

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"It was as if you were on a boat," she said. "You’re looking out the window and the water flows, then later you hear this whip, and the winds splashing about."

She looked out her window waiting to be rescued, she said. She wasn't sure if she would after seeing a first responder get trapped in the floodwaters in front of her home.

"I couldn't believe it," she said. "What do you mean he's stuck? It's no wonder because the vehicle wasn't a high-wheel vehicle to do this with."

She waited three hours before she was rescued. She said she banged on the window over and over and screamed "help!" until a volunteer Port Orange officer named Benjamin Benezette saw her, and brought her to safety, she said.

In the weeks since Ian, Vazquez-Patterson has been salvaging what she can, but most of her belongings remain in her front yard. The rest of her neighborhood is the same – littered with couches, furniture, and anything that was damaged in the floodwaters.

"When you go down the road to the left, it's even higher. I mean, incredible," she said.

She said her family lost their home in Miami in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew. After Ian, she said she has no plans of riding out another storm.

When Hurricane Nicole made landfall six weeks after Ian, she left for safety.

Despite all she has been through, it's her faith that pushes her forward.

"I have a higher power that has the strength and the power to turn this around for good," she said. "I’m believing it with all my heart in soul that he's going to do that."