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4 years after Hurricane Irma, victims still wait for aid – Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida 2021-09-21 06:07:56 –

Tampa, Florida-Some of the victims of Hurricane Irma are still waiting to help rebuild their homes, even after Florida has received hundreds of millions of dollars to hit the hardest.

Jackie Callaway, an I-Team Investigator, first revealed a program issue in April. She talked to Michael Rose, whose trailer house in Largo was destroyed in 2017.

Since then, the state has made some progress.

WFTS

Previous report: A man in Pinellas County has lived in a dilapidated mobile home since Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Irma destroyed the plumbing and electricity to Rose’s house, leaving behind an external hose for water and two outlets for electricity. Rose, who retired and became disabled, had no way to move.

He washed the dishes on the driveway and bathed behind the hut outside.

Michael Rose irma.jpg

WFTS

“It takes a long time to live this way,” Rose said when I-Team reporter Jackie Caraway first met him in April.

Florida Reconstruction, a state-funded program that uses federal funding to rebuild or replace homes for hurricane victims, approved Rose for a new home in 2019. Two and a half years later, he was still waiting.

After meeting Rose in April, Jackie asked the Office of Economic Opportunity, the agency responsible for rebuilding Florida, what was taking so long.

Within a few days, DEO provided Rose with a hotel room, provided him with a POD of his belongings, and immediately demolished the trailer.

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At the time, Rebuild Florida said it had completed 570 of the 3,700 approved projects related to Hurricane Irma victims.

In June, a contractor hired by DEO set up a new mobile home on Rose’s premises, which had been padlocked for more than two months. Rose said no one would give him a move-in date.

Jackie returned to DEO in August with more questions. The contractor delivered the keys to Rose in early September, and since then he has moved to a brand new home.

DEO seems to have turned the program around since I-Team first started asking questions earlier this year. More than 1,100 homeowners affected by Irma have returned home and another 2,600 projects are underway, according to a spokeswoman.



4 years after Hurricane Irma, victims still wait for aid Source link 4 years after Hurricane Irma, victims still wait for aid

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