Some In Collier Receive Temporary Housing After Irma, While Others Still Wait For Inspections

Oct 31, 2017

As of last week, 77 Collier County households have been given federal temporary emergency housing after Hurricane Irma. 

Hurricane Irma washed 8-to-10 feet of storm surge onto Everglades City in southern Collier County. That made most homes, not on stilts, uninhabitable in the area due to flood damage and mold. So residents in Everglades City and in the surrounding unincorporated areas have been waiting for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency – not only for help to rebuild, but also for a place to stay in the mean time.

Dan Summers is with Collier’s Bureau of Emergency Services. He updated county commissioners on federal temporary emergency housing during their October 24 meeting.

“It is a phase process and by no means has it moved as fast as I want it to move but there has been some forward progress here," said Summers to commissioners. 

Summers broke down how many residents and from where have been settled into temporary housing, either in mobile homes or rental properties. Naples has the most households settled with 38, Everglades City: 17, Immokalee: 10, Marco Island: 4, Chokoloskee: 4, Goodland: 2, Ochopee: 1, and Plantation Island: also 1.

Adela Butler lives on Plantation Island and said she’s still waiting for a FEMA inspector to look at her gutted trailer nearly two months after Irma. And she said it’s not just her. She said many of her neighbors are in the same boat.

"I don’t know if it’s because of the area. I think maybe if we were in a bigger city we’d get more feedback or better feedback," said Butler.

As some wait for FEMA to push their applications through, the agency has extended its deadline to apply for financial assistance. Residents now have until November 24 to apply online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA.