43 Southwest Florida families affected by tornadoes in January receive checks from the state

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Gov. DeSantis presenting a check for tornado relief funds at the Century 21 mobile home community in Lee County. Credit: WINK News

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Friday morning that 43 of the people affected by January’s tornadoes would be receiving $10,000 from the state after it raised $1 million in donations for storm recovery.

He made the announcement inside the Century 21 community in Iona.

“We know more than 43 residents were impacted by this. So you have an ability to apply,” DeSantis said. “We are not necessarily done raising money on this. If we need to do more, we will and if people want to contribute, we would encourage them to do it.”
Watch below or click here.

In February, FEMA denied the state’s request for help after finding the event was not of such severity or magnitude to be “beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments and voluntary agencies.”

After that decision, the state created a portal to collect donations. In less than a month, more than $1 million was raised.

“It’s just difficult to go through something like this. It’s very hard,” said Anthony Costalas.

Ellie Costalas said her neighborhood looks much better now compared to when the storms first struck.

“There was so much debris and trees and everything. We couldn’t even see the whole house just part of it,” she said.

DeSantis said the state would continue to raise funds and encouraged others in need of support to apply.

“We just are thrilled, and it gives us, you know, faith that we can get this done,” Ellie Costalas said.

For more information on where to find help, click here.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.