If you’re driving around Iona, it’s hard to tell another storm just rolled through here. The area was already so destroyed by Hurricane Ian that hardly any people were still there.
In the Century 21 community, WINK News knows of only two people who remain in what is usually a neighborhood of more than 300 families.
The conditions aren’t getting any better either. WINK News met June Tiemens and her husband, Ken, in October while they picked up the pieces after Ian. Now, Nicole hasn’t shown them much mercy.
June Tiemens is a fighter. “The Lord is good. He’s been with us, and he’s keeping us safe.”
The Tiemens’ had hopes of rebuilding where their hearts are in the Century 21 neighborhood.
“I want to get this thing back together quick. I got to take the drywall off, you know, take care of the mold situation before it gets out of hand,” said Ken Tiemens.
They took care of it all, made adjustments, and now have to clean up all over again.
“Where the roof got torn off that was leaking into the room. Ken says, ‘June, we got a little lake here.’ So I was wiping that up this morning,” said June.
Hurricane Nicole’s rains seeped through their roof, and the winds ripped through their neighborhood.
The heavy debris piles stood strong, but the lighter material kept June running around trying to rebuild the pile.
“See that pile over there? Yes, styrofoam. And that’s all up everybody’s roof. And that’s what I picked up all in here,” said June.
More than a month after Hurricane Ian and nearly a day after Nicole, the work in the couple’s neighborhood seems endless.
This neighborhood still doesn’t have power and water, and June said she still hasn’t heard from FEMA, her insurance, or the people who run the community.
“We’re not going to give up. We’re not going to give up. We’re gonna keep on, and if anybody knows us, they know that we won’t give up because we’ve gone through we’ve gone through a lot. This is book two,” said June.
June said she’s writing down all these stories to give her grandkids one day.
As she showed WINK News around her home on Thursday, she pointed out how much her family loved being there. There’s a reminder of her family’s strength all around, including sea shells that her grandkids glued to the house years ago. They stuck on through Ian, and they stuck on through Nicole, so June hopes she can stick here too.