OCALA, Fla. (WFRV) – Hurricane Idalia made landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast as a category four storm and continued across northern Florida.

Green Bay resident Cindy Gagliano goes to Florida from time to time to be with her close friend Victoria Crull. Victoria was born and raised in Wisconsin but recently moved to Ocala, Florida, with her husband.

“I’ve been down here almost two years. I’m from the Luxemburg-Casco area, and I still have my home there. Here in Ocala, when they see a storm is coming, generally the area does not get hit, which is why we chose to live here,” explained Crull. “But it doesn’t matter, we board up, and we pull everything off of our pools, I mean, it looks like no one lives here. But because I’m in central Marion County, we were spared and I thank god for that.”

Cindy flew down a few weeks ago to enjoy the summer in Florida. Local Five’s Samantha Petters was able to get in touch with the two friends so they could share what it was like seeing the impact of the storm first-hand.

“It’s just sad, but it opens my eyes to another part of a way of life that had I not had this opportunity to come here, I would never know what these people go through,” said Cindy Gagliano.

Thousands have been impacted by the storm, but Victoria Crull shares how those who have are not alone, and Idalia has made things difficult for her as well.

“Through this mess, my father passed away, and as we speak, it’s 11:30 Wisconsin time, and his funeral is going on,” said Crull. “I wanted to fly out this morning, but I couldn’t make it out.”

The two expressed how blessed they felt to have had each other during this time, and Gagliano tells us she does not plan to let this stop her from many more visits.