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Federal aid approved to help tornado victims

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 15:38:35-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — People recovering from last week’s tornadoes in the Iona-McGregor neighborhood hope more help is on the way as they continue their clean-up efforts.

Governor Ron DeSantis declared the State of Emergency for Charlotte and Lee Counties last week, but the Florida Division of Emergency Management said preliminary damage assessments were requested to determine if there was a need for federal aid. After looking at the damage assessments, Governor DeSantis requested those federal funds Monday.

Homeowners are thankful for the help they've already received, but they said there is still so much to do and these funds will be helpful.

Caroline Fisher said she thankfully wasn't home when an EF-2 tornado hit the neighborhood on Water Lane.

“What in the heck is this," said Fisher as she explained what was going through her mind when she came home. "I’m driving and I finally turn down my street and I go 'holy cow'. I broke down all I could do was cry.”

Standing in front of Caroline Fisher’s home, you could never guess the devastation that is littered across her backyard. Even pieces of her neighbors' homes hang from the large tree in her yard.

“It might have even came from his house, I don’t know but he said that’s my curtain.”

In the other yard, there was someone’s carport hanging in a different tree. As we drove to the debris drop-off site in Fort Myers, the dumpsters looked pretty empty. Shelton Decker dropped off some debris from his parents' home in Gulf Harbour. He said they were pretty lucky.

“They live on the river so all of that debris came from the water and it came up," said Decker.

Fisher and her neighbors are so appreciative of all the help they’ve received already, but she explained there is only so much she can do on her own.

“There is definitely more needed. This is not over. I can’t lift nothing, I don’t have the equipment for that.”