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More temporary, mobile homes popping up as many continue to recover from Hurricane Ian

Posted at 9:58 PM, Oct 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-24 22:11:48-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Nearly a month since Hurricane Ian changed lives forever some still need to figure out where to live.

In Lee County, the use of mobile homes or travel trailers is being allowed as temporary housing for people repairing their permanent homes. And you don’t have to look far to see how many are doing just that.

"It’s comfortable. I mean, we’re blessed that we have this.”

In a Walmart parking lot off Colonial Boulevard, the sound of generators can be heard and rows of RVs can be seen. As people the hurricane displaced now try to find shelter in mobile homes.

“We lost everything on the bottom floor but it’s just a garage.”

People like Dirk Dewerff and his wife who have been staying in their RV, patiently waiting to return to their home on Sanibel.

"Search and rescue came in and, for our neighborhood, they rated it as a major storm," said Dewerff. "Major loss is called to houses. So until the storm gets downgraded, we can’t go home and live.”

And at the Love’s gas station, near I-75 and Bayshore you’ll find RVs and tents. But the people inside are not only homeowners who have lost their homes, but workers looking to help.

“We go fill our 55 gallon drum up with water here at the Love’s and fill the tank, take our quick little showers and a bunch of gas in the generator.”

Like Byron Lee and his crew of contractors. Here from Mississippi to work.

"We went through Katrina so we’ve come over here and just do whatever," said Lee. "Demo, help, picking stuff up from the side of the road- whatever we need to do to help out.”

And as plenty of help is going around there’s plenty of hope for a swift and complete recovery.

"You have to be ready for it and be mentally prepared that, when it happens," said Dewerff. "It’s going to take a while.”

And Charlotte County will be discussing a similar proposal to Lee County’s, allowing the use of mobile homes as temporary housing. The board of county commissioners will be making this proposal during their land use meeting tomorrow morning.

You can find more information in Lee County's Hurricane Guide online right here.