‘We’re kind of freaked out,’ Hurricane Ian victim says of Idalia’s threat
As Hurricane Idalia impacts the west coast of Florida, so many people are still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Ian’s wrath less than a year ago.
One Fort Myers woman said the emotional toll of another storm is something she didn't expect.
"We had about five to six feet of water in our house. So we lost everything we had there," said Kat Velez.
For Velez, it feels like just yesterday she returned to her South Fort Myers home after Hurricane Ian to find it destroyed.
"When we came back, it was pretty devastating. I didn't think it would impact me as hard to see everything we owned just moldy and stinky. I'll never forget that smell," Velez said.
It's been a rollercoaster of a year living in rentals and trying to rebuild. Velez's house was finally ready to move back in this week, and then here comes Hurricane Idalia.
"We were very excited to move home, and then here comes Idalia. So we're kind of freaked out," Velez said. "To not even be back at our house yet and have this threat coming, it was just a lot. I had to center myself, like, it's not Ian. It's a different storm. You have to recalibrate where you're at emotionally and think logically about it."
That hasn't been easy with the Southwest Florida community still recovering from Hurricane Ian.
"You see some people recovering. Some faster, some slower. And emotionally it's a lot to balance all of that and still keep life going and balance the day-to-day," Velez said.
Hurricane Idalia is expected to spare Fort Myers the worst, bringing Velez and her daughters some comfort and hope that they'll be back in their home by the end of the week.
"How do you think it will feel when you can finally spend the night in your own home again?" WPTV journalist Stephanie Susskind asked Velez.
"I showered there for the first time in a year the other day and that felt amazing," Velez answered. "I know it sounds stupid, but I can't imagine being able to live there again."
Bringing some normalcy to what's been a year of anything but.
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