(NewsNation) — Shelby Stites and her family have lived in Florida near Sanibel Island their entire lives. They’re no strangers to tropical storms. But the flooding and devastation brought by Hurricane Ian was shocking even to them.
Stites said she and her husband had to lift their 5-year-old and 2-year-old children over their heads to keep them above Ian’s flood waters as they fled their single-story home for their neighbors’ two-story home while water levels rose dangerously high.
“Just the water … it was insane, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Stites said.
The morning after the storm had passed, Stites’ husband ventured outside, where he saw bodies lining one of their streets.
To protect their children from the harsh realities outside, the Stiteses referred to the dead only as “DBs.”
“He said ‘there’s DBs all along the road, the cops are just standing by the cars waiting for the cadaver dogs.’ As soon as he said DBs I knew that meant dead bodies,” Stites said.