FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Wednesday, families living in the Harlem Heights community in Fort Myers watched as Nicole rolled into Southwest Florida. For some, it was a time to prepare.
Chris Horvath, a member of the non-profit Adventures in Missions, which is set up in Harlem Heights, said Nicole shifted crews back into protection mode.
“We assessed as many as we could, but there are over 100 homes in this area (Harlem Heights) that are tarped and potentially could be damaged if it was heavy wind and pull those tarps off,” said Horvath.
Securing homes for families is something Horvath says crews have been doing long before Nicole arrived.
“Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, we have been preparing for this storm,” said Horvath.
Preparations he said included handing out supplies they have collected over the past month, but more importantly, securing tarps for homes.
“We shifted gears preparing for it, making sure tarps were secure going on homes that didn't have tarps yet, making sure that they had tarps to cover up the things that were missing on their homes, so they didn't get additional water damage. Then securing debris piles that are still laying around that haven’t been picked up yet,” said Horvath.
On Wednesday, outside of those homes, families at a food pantry off Gladiolus said their driving force to stock up on food for Nicole, comes from their memories of Ian.
“I have so much PTSD from Ian and now we have her,” said Victoria Becude.
On Wednesday, Becude said that's why she was grabbing what she could, saying the last thing she wants to worry about is food.
“I have a tarp, I have a bunch of debris still around in piles laying around and I'm still trying to repair my roof. I have a lot of shingles missing… it's a mess,” said Becude.
A mess, Becude and Horvath said, that they will have to wait and see how it all plays out.
“We will assess what happens if there is flooding, we will deal with it,” said Horvath.
“It's very stressful. You don’t have words, you just sit here and wait for what happens next,” said Becude.
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