Former News 3 anchor rides out Hurricane Irma - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Former News 3 anchor rides out Hurricane Irma

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FORT MEYERS, FL -- A former anchor at News 3 is now living in Florida, staring down Hurricane Irma.

Amy Van Patten worked at Channel 3 as a reporter and anchor in the early 90's but eventually moved to Florida

She's lived there since 1997 with her husband, a photographer for the NBC affiliate there. Hurricanes are nothing new to her.

"This is probably my fourth or fifth hurricane I've been through, so I feel like I've got the experience with it and we know what to do," Van Patten said.

That includes putting a new roof on her house, hurricane shutters on the windows and doors, even a backup generator.

"Every year we try to do something with the house to make it more hurricane-proof," Van Patten said.

But even with all that preparation, Hurricane Irma is providing some challenges.

"It's really, really windy and it's pouring rain and our backyard is a complete lake," Van Patten said.

Van Patten said the number of strong storms she's seen has grown over the years and her neighbors are taking note.

"I can't believe all the people that evacuated," Van Patten said. "People that have left town, I don't know if they've learned their lessons over the years with the other hurricanes or what but there were way more people preparing and evacuating for this storm than there have been in past storms."

Van Patten couldn't leave due to a disability and her husband's job, but she says she's confident she'll ride this storm out just like other hurricanes in the past.

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