Rows and rows of trailers are now being filled with people displaced by Hurricane Ian. Earlier this month, WINK News told you about 105 FEMA trailers going to the Tranquility Lakes RV Community off Burnt Store Road in Cape Coral.
Over the weekend, people started moving into the trailers months after Ian took their homes away.
FEMA allowing people inside of their trailers is a giant step forward, but some people are worried they are being forgotten.
Robert Payne’s living situation since Hurricane Ian hasn’t been easy. He is a Vietnam veteran and sleeps in a cot on his screened-in back porch. He has a makeshift shower with a hose and curtain for privacy. It is the only bathroom he’s known for weeks.
“We don’t have any other choice. We’re, we’re stuck,” said Payne.
His home on Dolphin Drive took in almost 12 inches of water, so he sought help from FEMA, who brought this trailer to the empty lot next to his home.
FEMA trailer next to Robert Payne’s home. (Credit: WINK News)
“About three months to get it on site. And it came in here about a while four weeks ago,” said Payne.
It initially felt like a dream come true, but the long-awaited relief never came. “They’ve put the plumbing in, and the electric in, and then the plumbing and electric failed the city’s inspections.”
Payne said no one from FEMA has been in contact with him since. He’s seen their new site at Tranquility Lakes, which he worries may put people like him in the Cape, who opted for help on their property, out of the agency’s mind.
“There’s nothing we can do it we’re hopeless, not hopeless, almost hopeless, but we’re helpless,” Payne said.
WINK News has contacted FEMA to ask why no one has been out to the trailer next to Payne’s home since installing utilities more than a month ago. We have not heard back.