FEMA to stop sheltering Florida Irma victims in hotels

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
FILE: A man walks into a trailer provided by FEMA for Louisiana residents after Hurricane Katrina. Trailers will be set up for Collier County residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma. (Marvin Nauman/FEMA photo)

Federal disaster officials are ending a program that paid for hotel rooms for more than 27,000 Florida households in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

FEMA officials announced Tuesday that the short-term emergency sheltering program will end March 10, six months after Irma hit the Sunshine State.

At the request of the state, FEMA extended the temporary hotel program five times over the last six months.

FEMA provided some relief for Bonita Springs residents Barbara and Bill Crossman who described their neighborhood as a war zone after Irma.

“When we came back we had 12 to 18 inches of water right here,” Bill said.

While the couple is thankful FEMA put them in a hotel, they said the road to recovery is still long.

“Don’t think it’s over because it’s not over,” Barbara said. “Everybody says, ‘Are you back to normal?’ No because it’s a long process and it’s going to be a long process.”

More than 26,000 households have already moved out after making home repairs or finding suitable longer-term housing.

FEMA has been working with survivors to help them identify resources and develop a long-term housing plan.

*Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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