People are still waiting for help from Rebuild Florida, 3 years after Irma
DEVELOPING STORY, WE’LL BE SURETO KEEP YOU UPDATED AS WE GETMORE INFORMATION.THREE YEARS AFTER HURRICANE IRMADEVASTATED PARTS OF SOUTHWESTFLORIDA, SOME HOMEOWNERS ARESTILL STRUGGLING TO REBUILD.THE ’REBUILD FLORIDA’ PROGRAMOFFERED TO HELP PEOPLE MAKEREPAIRS OR REPLACE THEIR HOMES.FOX 4 ROB MANCH SPOKE TO ONEFAMILY IN NORTH FORT MYERS STILLWAITING FOR THAT HELP AND THEIRLIVING CONDITIONS HAVE CONTINUEDTO GET WORSE.(:29 - :32)I spoke with Kelly and RaySmith, who live here at theBuccaneer Estates.They were hoping to spend therest of their lives here, butHurricane Irma seriously damagedtheir home.The couple later realized theyneeded financial help to makeall the repairs.
Two yearslater, they’re still waiting forassistance from Rebuild Florida.PKG:Kelly and Ray showed me theyears of correspondence they’vehad with Rebuild Florida.Kelly still remembers the daythey came back after evacuatingfor Hurricane Irma.Kelly Smith, Still Waiting ForHouse to be Replaced: "He and Iheld hands coming through thefront gate, not knowing what wewere going to find."(9s)What they found was a housedamaged beyond their ability torepair."Mildew, condensation.
I mean,there’s so much that it’spulling the walls apart."(8s)Once the Smiths got approved byRebuild Florida, they were toldthe house needed to be replacedentirely.They received this letter,saying they should not make anyrepairs, because they wouldn’tbe reimbursed.But two years later, Kelly saysthe ceiling leaks, the floor isunstable, and the mold has grownout of control."We can grow mushrooms in ourbathroom because of the mold."(8s)But Kelly says, 30 days ago,they were told, if they wanttheir house replaced, they’llhave to move out of thiscommunity, because RebuildFlorida won’t pay for a car portand shed, which they say arerequired to live here."They’re not putting us in parksthat are equal to ours."(8s)But Kelly says, they don’t havethe money for a car port andshed, and with her healthproblems, moving to a newcommunity may be the onlysolution."The longer I stay in thishouse, the sicker I’m going toget."(8s)TAG:Rebuild Florida did respond tome, saying it has helped morethan 900 families, spending morethan 31 million dollars onrepairs and replacement housessince the hurricane.But it couldn’t tell me how manymore people like the Smith