Moorhead Manor community filled with hope despite the destruction

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Matthew Seaver
Moorhead Manor damage from Hurricane Ian. (Credit: WINK News)

Despite the destruction left by Hurricane Ian, there is a lot of hope and joy in the Moorhead Manor community.

Hurricane Ian left many of the homes in the community severely flooded. One couple said their lanai saw 31 inches of water, but they’re focusing on what they have and all the volunteers who’ve brought them food and help.

There’s no ignoring the stacks of debris on the roadways. A constant reminder of what Moorhead Manor residents have been through.

Piles upon piles of people’s furniture and pieces of their lives strewn up and down the streets of the 55-plus community.

Mike Patch is the community’s president.

“Is this what a third-world country looks like, you know, it’s just devastation what you see in the piles,” said Patch.

One of those piles belongs to Don and Donna Noel.

“There’s a few things in there, you know, things you really kind of treasure, but it’s stuff. We have our lives. We have our health,” said Don.

They have a home that’s still standing too, but it was severely damaged.

“We were just shocked when we came in we had no floors it’s just like sawdust, and we have lost all of our furniture we had to take it out, and we’re trying to see what we can keep, which is not much,” said Donna.

What used to be their living room and kitchen is now unrecognizable.

“Some volunteers come in, and they don’t even know what to do because it’s so bad,” said Donna.

The Noels are not alone.

“You walk into your house, and things have floated and tipped over, and there’s black everywhere, and it was shocking. You know, a lot of people were emotional about that at that point, too,” Patch said.

But there’s hope, trucks finally started removing some of the piles on Tuesday.

“The bulk of it will be gone quickly. We’ll be making several trips,” said Michael Johnson, with the Tetra Tech Debris cleanup team.

It is the first small step for this tight-knit community to return to normalcy. There’s a long way to go, but they are steadfast, and they will recover.

“I didn’t know where to start I was overwhelmed. But you know, he and I just had prayer about it, and we got our strength, and we’re gonna keep going. That’s the way we feel right now. We’re not gonna give up,” said Donna.

“I’m trying to keep everybody positive and, more importantly, get this stuff dried out, get on our way to recovery because this community has no intention of leaving,” said Patch.

Eric Pazzett is also beginning the process of cleaning up his home so that he can rebuild. He gave WINK News a tour of what is left. You can watch that below.

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