OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Sabina Holtzer is devastated after losing it all to Hurricane Ian almost three weeks ago.
“It was absolutely the most horrible thing you can imagine,” Holtzer said. “It’s not the value of the things – they can be replaced. It’s the memories, the pictures, all the things that make your life. It’s like little bits of your life that are floating there, and it it breaks your heart.”
Holtzer is a resident of Good Samaritan Village in Kissimmee where hundreds were evacuated after waters from Shingle Creek and a nearby lake overflowed into their community, leaving homes under water for several days.
There are about 70 residents like Holtzer who are now housed at a Red Lion hotel.
“I came out of there with no shoes and I slept in my car for two days until FEMA is paying for this and my dog. So, I’m good for three weeks. What they gonna do after 3 weeks? I hope they extend it,” Isabel DeJesus, another displaced resident said. DeJesus added that she’s been back to her unit after the water receded.
“I’ve been going back and forth doing everything by myself. Just cleaning everything with bleach, taking out what I could,” DeJesus said.
It’s a painful situation that’s caused emotions of frustration and devastation according to Good Samaritan pastor Rich Reiter whose been assisting displaced residents.
“You see a variety of emotions,” Reiter said. The pastor said some local organizations have chipped in with clothing and non-perishable donations but it’s meals they are in the need of the most.
“If we could get more hot meals coming in on a regular basis throughout the week that would be fantastic because we have no place to cook things here,” Reiter said.
When asked if there was a timeline for when the residents can go back, the pastor said it’s uncertain.
“No one has received any kind of timeline other than the fact that to rebuild is probably going to take 12, maybe a year and half to rebuild,” the pastor said.
Since the flooding, Osceola County placed a mandatory evacuation for the property until further notice.
For residents like Holtzer, it’s an uncertain future for the place she called home for ten years.
“At our age it’s not easy to start again. You can do this when your 40, 30 whatever, but at our age everything is gone. That’s your life down the drain. And the confusion, where do we go from here?” she said.
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