FEMA little help to Tice family left homeless, woman says

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TICE, Fla. Hurricane Irma left Ashley Santizo and her family without a home.

FEMA left her without much help, she said.

She reached out to the agency nearly two weeks ago, but even though agents came to see her, they haven’t provided her anything except a hotel room — and that room is three hours away from the now-destroyed home she rented in Tice, she said.

Santizo was in tears Monday as she walked through the remains of the Figuera Avenue home she rented. The storm punched holes in the roof, scattered debris inside and left insulation hanging and soggy.

“When we walked in on the 12th about 8:30 in the morning, that’s when we seen everything,” Santizo said. “And I just broke down and cried.”

Santizo’s landlord, Bob Owens, has no plans to rebuild, he said.

FEMA declined to discuss Santizo’s case directly, but a representative said cases like hers come down to how the application is filled out, and that immediate assistance is provide to some in unlivable circumstances.

Others who’ve had their homes destroyed or rendered unlivable can try to seek hotel assistance on FEMA’s website. But first they must register online or at a FEMA disaster recovery center.

Over $510 million has been given so far to victims across the state, according to FEMA. But Santizo said she’s seen none of it.

“Everything you worked for is gone,” she said. There’s nothing left.”

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