8 On Your Side tours storm damage with Gov. Scott

Gov. Scott talks with Ezequiel Rodriguez, a paraplegic veteran, who suffered storm damage in Charlotte County.

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (WFLA) – From house to house and street to street, Gov. Rick Scott walked the path of the tornadoes that hit Charlotte County Wednesday.

He shook hands and listened to stories of survival. 8 On Your Side was there, walking alongside the governor. Gov. Scott explained how he was in Pensacola surveying storm damage there, when more wicked weather hit the counties on the Florida’s west coast.

The governor told News Channel 8 how he wanted to meet people face-to-face. “It’s way better to show up. You can hear from the people and see what their needs are. It’s way better,” Scott said.

Ezequiel Rodriguez is one of the storm survivors in the hardest hit neighborhood near Padre Lane. The paraplegic veteran described what it was like riding out the storm in a walk-in closet inside his home.

“It was like a roar of the lion, a big roar,” he said. The father of three waited patiently all day to meet the governor – and he did. Rodriguez shared how his father dragged him from his wheelchair to safety.

“We just said, ‘God, this is our time. Just let us be with you.’ We thought the wind would suck us up,” the veteran said.

Governor Scott told News Channel 8 he promises to help the victims. He explained how there are programs offering assistance from both state and county levels. “You feel sorry for the people, figuring out how to get their lives back in order again,” the governor said.

PHOTOS: Storms hit Tampa Bay area, Florida’s west coast




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