SWFL woman displaced by Hurricane Ian fights heat

Reporter: Michael Hudak Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

More than nine months after Hurricane Ian, some people in Southwest Florida still have no home and have to live in Florida’s heat.

“Very difficult, very difficult, very difficult, very few places to get water. Thank God for Starbucks,” said Ronald, who is experiencing homelessness.

He feels like he’s getting played by the very own state he lives in.

Ronald, like so many other people, lost his home after Hurricane Ian, and now, Mother Nature is at it again, bringing the heat. Thirty straight days, over 90 degrees, with very little rain. That has Ronald heated.

But no one is more heated than Kimberly Goulet.

“I never did sleep good at night anyway, but it’s really made it a lot worse,” Goulet said.

The hurricane destroyed Goulet’s home on San Carlos Island, on Helen Lane.

“I’m healing from what I think has been a very traumatic, difficult experience and trying to get on with my life,” Goulet said.

In the first few months after the storm, she couch surfed.

Then, in January, she moved into an 8×16 container.

FEMA did give her money for temporary housing and rental assistance, but the agency did not help her with a trailer. That, even though they marked up her driveway for one.

“I still have never been getting able to get a call back from anybody. Barbara was supposed to call me back two weeks ago. OK, I don’t know who Barbara is,” Goulet said.

So she had no choice but to live in a container through the month of June.

Goulet said the temperature in the container was 90 degrees.

“I’ve gone through trying to like hose off and lay down in front of a battery-operated fan,” Goulet said. “I have gone through having to run to my car in an emergency because and, you know, run the air conditioning. I even actually spent a couple of days in the car over there in the shade.”

And the heat continues to take its toll.

“You get a certain point with the heat that you just can’t stand it anymore and you get depressed and sad and all you can focus on is your misery, really. I think the last probably week of June, all I did was cry,” Goulet said.

Not getting anywhere with FEMA, Goulet dug into her savings to rent a trailer behind the container she slept in, but it didn’t have air conditioning, until just a few weeks ago.

She said the heat has had an extremely detrimental effect on her health.

Additional Help Available to Floridians Recovering from Hurricane Ian

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