Mentor native Marco’s Pizza owner in Florida helps others impacted by Hurricane Ian

“I feel blessed that we came out of this and are able to help and have that ability,” Kelly Popp said.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
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MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - As Hurricane Ian’s wrath continues in Florida, its not stopping those who are there from helping one another.

Mentor native Kelly Popp is in the thick of Hurricane Ian east of Tampa.

She Zoomed with 19 News Thursday evening to share what it’s been like where she’s at.

“The start of it is just heavy winds and a lot of heavy rain. It gets to the point where you can’t see because the rain is coming down. It’s like a white out in an Ohio blizzard,” Popp said. “It’s those types of conditions and as the storm comes in and the eye gets over you it’s just howling wind like you’ve never heard. It’s a screaming you just want to cover your ears and that lasts for about eight hours.”

She owns a Marco’s Pizza in that area. Popp said even though she prepared, the hurricane has caused a lot of devastation in her community.

“We knew that there was going to be damage and there is. We have flooded rivers right now, we have a bunch of trees down everywhere,” Popp said. “Some of us have power, but a lot of us don’t.”

She said she luckily only lost power at her home and her pizza shop.

Now, she hopes to help the people dealing with much more.

“When we reopen tomorrow morning, we’re definitely going to be feeding our first responders, we’re going to contact local hospitals and see if they need food,” Popp said. “We have to realize these people, nurses and doctors they don’t get to leave. Once that hurricane is coming, they have to stay there until it’s gone.”

Hurricane Ian’s wrath isn’t over yet, but it’s already affected millions of people.

Popp knows there’s a long road ahead to recovering from this, so she’s grateful her pizza shop can help these people in need.

“I feel blessed that we came out of this and are able to help and have that ability,” Popp said.

Popp said her employees’ safety has been her top priority. She has been staying in contact with them to make sure they are out of harm’s way.