Family living in car after Irma with no FEMA help

EAST NAPLES, Fla. Raquel Constantino and two special-needs relatives are living in a car after Hurricane Irma.

And FEMA has been no help so far, Constantino said.

“This is not a place for us to live,” she said. “I don’t know what to do.”

The mobile home where Constantino, her daughter and her grandson lived was condemned because of the damage it sustained in the storm. Other residents in the Southwind Village community where they live have similar complaints — applications filled out more than a week ago with no response.

“It’s really hard to give you a timeframe because it’s really depending upon how they answered the questions when they submitted their application,” FPL spokesman Mike Wade said.

Some of those neighbors’ homes are condemned just like Constantino’s. Others are livable but still without power. Still others do have power, and extension cords from those homes criss-cross streets to the homes still in the dark.

Florida Power and Light, the utility for the neighborhood, said service has been restored to all customers, so anyone with lingering issues should contact an electrician, an FPL representative said.

In the meantime, Constantino’s family is suffering more than cramped conditions.

“It is embarrassing to our self esteem,” Constantino said. “My children cannot understand why we can’t find a good place to stay permanently.”