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Community helps Hurricane Michael survivors find a home

Posted: 10:46 PM, Oct 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-18 02:46:17Z

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Just two days after two families escaped the destruction of Hurricane Michael in Lynn Haven, Florida, they now have a home they can call their own. Thanks to a group on Facebook called SWFL Hurricane Michael Outreach.

Alginet Graham says she’s pleasantly surprised.

"I’m just so grateful for everyone here that you know really stepped up and just helped us out. And they didn’t even know us," said Graham.

They’ve gotten donations for food, furniture and clothes. Ashley Tuttle says it’s just what they need to make their house feel like a home.

"I thought maybe we’d get a place and we’d be living in an empty house for a little bit. I didn’t know that all of these donations would come so fast," said Tuttle.

After hearing about their situation through the Facebook group, a local realtor allowed the group of friends to rent the house by paying less than half of the valued down payment.

While this family settles into their new home, local volunteers say there’s more work to do for people still living in the aftermath of the hurricane.

"We’re actually focusing on the smaller towns," said Niki Fitz, starter of the SWFL Hurricane Michael Outreach Facebook group. And her work doesn’t stop there. She’s organizing donations to send to small towns along the Panhandle like Blountstown, Lynn Haven, Chipley, Bayou George, Fountain and Youngstown.

"For the people that are just struggling day-to-day to survive, they hold a special place in my heart," said Fitz.

She’s preparing a group to take supplies to Blountstown this Friday. Many areas don’t have power or running water. Fitz says they still need baby wipes, flashlights, adult diapers, and baby formula to send up there. To make a donation, you can go visit the Facebook page SWFL Hurricane Michael Outreach.

The survivors mentioned they'd like to thank the following people for their donations:

Kristen Quinn, Eddie Watkins, Wayne Sandy Brown, Shane Tammy Oslecki, Blue Sky Reality, Erika Sharer, Dean & Kay Pickett, Victoria & Zach Leasure and Kim Koenigs

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2018 STORM NAMES

Alberto Leslie
Beryl Michael
Chris Nadine
Debby Oscar
Ernesto Patty
Florence Rafael
Gordon Sara
Helene Tony
Isaac Valerie
Joyce William
Kirk


HURRICANE TERMS TO KNOW

Tropical Storm WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

Hurricane WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.