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15 years after Hurricane Isabel, Richmonders reflect and prepare for Florence

RICHMOND, Va. -- Fifteen years after surviving Hurricane Isabel, Richmond residents reflected on the past as they prepared for the near future and Hurricane Florence.

Neighbors who live along West Franklin Street will never forget September 18, 2003, the day deadly Hurricane Isabel tore through Richmond.

“Suddenly all the wind came through started whistling and we could tell after the fact wind came down Monument turned on Tilden and devastated our block of West Franklin,” Zoe Anne Green recalled. “The trees started dropping and then it got really scary really fast. It was just horrible."

“I’m telling you it looked like a war zone,” Linda Banister added.

As the deadly storm blew in, Gerry Alferio watched as his neighbors’ homes were destroyed.

“Across the street three trees fell into five houses,” said Alferio.

Fast forward 15 years, and on Tuesday neighbors prepared their homes for what could be another historic storm. Alferio sealed roof vents and moved patio furniture ahead of Florence.

“I didn’t want it to become a missile and hit anybody or damage anybody else’s property so I moved it inside,” he said.

Neighbors said they were heeding the advice of CBS 6 chief meteorologist Zach Daniel who said prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

“I treat them [hurricanes] with a little more experience,” said Alferio. “It’s the unknown right now. You have to prepare for the worst.”

“Filled up the car with gas got batteries,” said Green. “I may fill some water in the tub and fill up some containers.”

“I have plenty of food,” said Banister. “I’m going to clean my porch off tomorrow move my car to a big open space. I’ll be okay.”

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for complete coverage of Florence. Click here to track the storm with the CBS 6 Interactive Hurricane Tracker

Depend on the CBS 6 Weather Authority

Depend on the CBS 6 Weather Authority