ORLANDO, Fla. — More than a year after Hurricane Irma hit Florida, some people are still dealing with damage in Central Florida. However, there is now hope for some low-income families to finally get help.
- Organizations help rebuild homes damaged by Irma
Patricia Savage just had her roof repaired on her Pine Hills-area home after it was damaged by Irma.
"The more it kept raining after the fact, that's when it started leaking inside the house," Savage said.
The leaking was so extensive it created mold. However, she was having a difficult time receiving help.
"(FEMA) didn't want to do really anything as far as touch the roof. They were saying that is was pre-exiting, they didn't want to do much of anything with that," said Savage.
However, this week she finally got mold remediation. She got the help from the Orange County Long Term Recovery Group.
A survey the group conducted found 565 residents in the area are still dealing with Hurricane Irma-related damages totaling an estimated $6.6 million.
"Long-term recovery tends to take five to 10 years, which most people don't realize," said Falon Alo, executive director of Hearts and Hands Disaster Recovery.
The Orange County Long Term Recovery group enlisted Hearts and Hands Disaster Recovery to help eliminate the mold. They are working on 20 Irma-related projects right now in Central Florida.
"We stick around until the very end so we can help people bridge the gap between what they may have received from their insurance company and from FEMA so they can actually repair their home to a state of safe, sanitary and secure," said Alo.
The state is also now coming in with Rebuild Florida Centers.
They have offices in Orange and Brevard counties and this week their mobile unit is in Flagler County.
The Department of Economic Opportunity has $616 million to help families across Florida still dealing with damage.
For Savage, she says it was her patience and persistence that helped her home get back to normal.
"There's still recovery groups out there that's willing to help," Savage said, "don't give up on it."