NewsLocal NewsLee County

Actions

Families forced to live in tents after Ian brace for Tropical Storm Nicole

Nicole tent
Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 09, 2022

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Hurricane Ian forced so many families out of their homes and into tents. Some are in a bind as Tropical Storm Nicole approaches southwest Florida.

"We've been living in it [tent] for 42 nights," said David Rogers, who lives in southeast Cape Coral. "We don't have a second home. That is our second home — the tent."

His area was one of the hardest hit, and many homeowners had to gut their houses because of the storm surge. Rogers did it himself, but it takes time to rebuild.

"I think the smell is out of the house. I think the 2x4s have dried in the last 40 days," he said.

During that time, he and his girlfriend Linni had to live in the tent because of the smell, plus the potential mold before gutting his home.

He put the tent in his backyard before moving it under the lanai roof to stay dry.

"I'm hoping we don't have any more damage," he said. "We’ll move the air mattresses inside because we don’t need to deal with that."

They took the tent down on Wednesday afternoon and Rogers said he was going to ride out the storm inside his home.

"We're doing the best we can," he said. "We'll get through it."

It's something the community will get through together as each family faces its own set of challenges. Some are having to lock down their tarps as the winds are expected to pick up to at least 40 mph along with rain.

"All these people that are working on roofs, working on houses they’re going to get soaked," said Bob Turo, who lives in southeast Cape Coral. "Some tarps on these houses are not done well and that rain is going to get right into those houses."

Turo's house didn't sustain any damage by Ian but is worried about what debris from surrounding homes will do during Nicole.

"I have another neighbor down the street from Canada. He just got back, just pulling stuff out of his house," Turo said. "As they just keep running around, cleaning up, cleaning up, cleaning up, there’s always a new pile at the moment."

He believes Cape Coral has done a good job at picking up debris and says a pile in his front yard would've been flying around if they hadn't.

Turo said he's going to prepare for Nicole but said he doesn't have to do much.

"We hadn’t finished putting things back in order from the last one, so we don’t really have to move too many things," he said.