Grand Falls-Windsor’s Pete Cornick, his wife Joy, and dogs Titch and Jack spend their winters enjoying their home in Florida – a home they are lucky to still have intact after Hurricane Irma ripped through Florida, causing widespread damage.
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Like many people near and far, Pete Cornick and his wife Joy have been following reports of Hurricane Irma.
“We’ve pretty much been glued to CNN,” Cornick said.
Imagine sitting at home safe and sound in Grand Falls-Windsor and watching the news about Hurricane Irma ripping through Florida, worrying about your friends, neighbours, and other home.
This has been a stressful time, to say the least.
Cornick spent 35 years in law enforcement, the last six as a municipal police officer with the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor before retiring four years ago. He bought a home in Sabastian, FL, half way between Daytona and Fort Lauderdale, six years ago.
“We usually go down and spend the better part of the winter down there,” Cornick said. “I’m not a winter person.”
The past few days has been a trying time for the couple, with reports of Hurricane Irma heading towards Florida.
“We were really, really concerned,” Cornick said. “A lot of our neighbours are people who live there all year round. We were concerned for them and our property, but especially our neighbours. Some of these people are older. The guy who lives across the street is 97. He has a special place in our hearts. We were worried about him.”
Their elderly neighbour, he said, was evacuated and taken to a safer place, and Cornick is hoping he will be back home tomorrow so they can speak to him.
Millions of people were evacuated as Hurricane Irma caused widespread damage and reported deaths.
A friend went to Cornick’s home Monday morning to make sure there were no leaks, and said everything looked good.
“The guy that checked my house this morning said, “Peter you dodged a bullet,” Cornick told the Advertiser Monday evening. “I believe we did.
The people who are on the ground down there are describing it as a war zone. Some people have their roofs gone and carports gone. Our place is virtually untouched apparently, and for that we are eternally grateful.”
He said they have worked hard over the last few years to get the place the way they want it, and the thought of having to start again is a tough swallow.
“Joy and I, we really appreciate what we got,” Cornick said. “We enjoy it and we love to share it with our friends. We take our dogs with us and its home for us for the winters. To have to say we don’t have that privilege anymore – that’s pretty hard.
“We consider ourselves pretty fortunate. We are happy. We’re here, we’re safe, we’re lucky. Our family and our loved ones are here. All are friends are safe.”
The couple was lucky last year as well, as a hurricane blew the carport off the house two doors down.
“Last year we had one went right by us, just missed us,” Cornick said. “It’s concerning. It’s uncomfortable. But we like having our place down there. It’s our place. When we leave it in May, we expect it to be the same as it was when we left.”
With talk of Hurricane Jose in the Atlantic Ocean, Cornick is hopeful it will not affect his home or neighbours.