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Jeff Winn, managing partner of IAA

Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

One Advisor’s Hurricane Ian Story: Over $100K in Damage but Lots of Gratitude

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What You Need to Know

  • A managing partner at an Orlando BD suffered about $100,000 or more in damage as a result of Hurricane Ian.
  • His home, however, was structurally sound after the storm passed and he didn't have flooding like many neighbors.
  • His niece in North Port, Florida wasn't as lucky, losing her entire house.

Despite being dealt a costly blow from Hurricane Ian, one Florida advisor told ThinkAdvisor he’s grateful the storm didn’t cause him far more serious damage and his heart goes out to neighbors, relatives and others who weren’t quite as lucky.

Despite an estimated $100,000 and likely much more in damage to his boathouse and the trees that had fallen on his house in Orlando suburb Windermere, Jeff Winn, managing partner at Orlando, Florida-based broker-dealer International Assets Advisory, said: “People around us, both within a matter of miles, as well as around us in the sense of our immediate family, are having it so much worse.”

The boathouse, several feet from his property in Windermere on the Butler Chain of Lakes, was torn apart during the storm, he said. His house, normally 50 feet from the lake, was only five feet from the lake as of Monday, he said.

Meanwhile, “I was fortunate that the trees that fell on our roof didn’t do real integrity damage but they banged up the roof,” he told ThinkAdvisor, adding: “I’m grateful that my [house’s structure] still has its integrity.” As his house is on higher ground than many of his neighbors’, he was spared the flooding they faced, he said.

The damage was “not insignificant by any stretch, but it’s not life and it’s not an entire house,” he said.

Post-Ian, the main issues for the small inland city he lives in were almost all from flooding, he said, noting the nearby lakes and rivers had been “filled with a whole summer full of rain.”

Several days a week, “we had these daily afternoon deluges that just filled everything to levels that gradually [reached] their record heights and then along came the storm [and] there’s no place for that water to go,” said Winn. “So that’s what created all the damage here.”

Ahead of Ian’s arrival, IAA closed its Orlando office at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and remained closed until after the storm passed. When Winn woke up on Thursday, he said, “there were rivers where there aren’t supposed to be rivers and the trees [were] down on the power lines.” Electricity didn’t come back on for many until late Sunday, he added.

Alone in Venice

Winn’s 77-year-old father, who is legally blind, lives alone in Venice, Florida, which felt the full force of Ian.

Although at least part of his dad’s roof caved in and “what used to be his attic is now the floor of his garage,” it could have been much worse, Winn pointed out.

His father was “fortunate in that the integrity of his house is also … fine,” with most of the damage happening in the interior, Winn said. Being “legally blind [and] just home alone, [it was] just a scary moment for him” for him when Ian hit, Winn added.

Not as Lucky

Not quite as lucky as Winn was his niece who lives in North Port, Florida, in Sarasota County, only about 10 minutes from Venice, he went on to say. “The storm kind of came ashore off the Gulf” and now “her whole house: gone; I mean, just literally, to the ground,” he said. “And she’s one of thousands in that category.”

His niece was home with her husband and their two young children when Ian struck their house, he said, noting they sought shelter in the safest room of the house: the bathroom, which was the only room whose roof was left almost intact as the rest of the house collapsed around them.

Neither he nor his niece had been told to evacuate because Ian was expected to hit elsewhere, he said, adding some Floridians were apparently told to evacuate and ended up in the path of the storm while their homes weren’t affected.

(Pictured: Jeff Winn, managing partner of IAA)