UD basketball player praying everyone in his Florida family is OK after Hurricane Ian

DAYTON — Tyrone Baker, who plays the post for the University of Dayton Flyers, thinks that his family in Fort Myers, Florida stayed put before and during the time Hurricane Ian hit the southwest part of the Sunshine State this week.

He has joined in a couple of family group chats via social media and no one has said anything about suffering an injury, he said.

>> LIVE UPDATES: Ian, downgraded to sub-tropical cyclone, responsible for at least 17 deaths

“I just pray that everyone’s OK,” the sophomore told News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis on Friday night. “I don’t want to worry myself too much. . . because it will be on my mind all day long. . . . There’s nothing I can do about it, but I try not to worry about it.”

Baker said he was on the phone with his mom Wednesday when she told him the family home had lost power just as he called.

The power was still off Friday.

“All my family’s there” in Fort Myers, he said, a clan that includes everyone on both his mother’s and father’s sides.

Baker said he could hardly believe the photos he has seen via social media -- destroyed homes, cars underwater and water rising to the tops of parking decks. He remembers Hurricane Irma, quickly adding, “but this one was worse.”

Hurricane Irma was a Cape Verde storm that hit Florida and other locations in that area in September 2017, the first Category 5 on record to hit the Leeward Islands. An estimated134 fatalities and $77.16 billion in damage were attributed to Irma.

“Now that it’s passed,” he said of Hurricane Ian, “everybody’s trying to scramble to get everything they need.”

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Baker said he hopes to be able to return to Fort Myers during Christmas break from the Flyers’ basketball schedule.