FEMA helping to survey tornado damage in Iona

Published: January 19, 2022 3:09 PM EST
Updated: January 19, 2022 4:37 PM EST

FEMA was in Iona on Wednesday, surveying the damage from Sunday’s tornado. They marked buildings to let people know to stay out because they are unsafe.

WINK News followed along as law enforcement and Lee County Emergency Management went from neighborhood to neighborhood picking up the pieces and surveying the damage

Even though the debris is still piling up around them, the spirit in the Century 21 Mobile Home Park is as high as ever.

“Do you wanna take a ride?? To the candy shop. It’s a nice trip,” sang Oliver and Lynn.

Oliver is a Cockatoo. He and his owner Lynn survived the tornado. The roof of their home is nearly completely blown off.

Lynn still won’t let the smile leave her face despite the damage.

While enjoying Oliver and Lynn’s joy and strength, WINK News watched as Andres Artis with FEMA assessed the damage. Lee County Code Enforcement was escorting him.

He went from the Tropicana Mobile Home Community to the Century 21 community.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was also in the Century 21 Mobile Home Park. Surveying and helping to pick up what is left and discouraging looters from coming into these sites and stealing material.

“Obviously look this is devastating, peoples houses in seconds or minutes are taken from them, but the last thing we want is for someone to pray on those victims of what just took place,” said Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “Every national and federal agency has reached out at every level to help us.”

FEMA would not allow WINK News to join them as they went into homes to survey the damage and could not tell us if this cleanup effort would be federally funded.

WINK News reached out to the Iona Fire Department because of some of the markings on the damaged houses. They said they were the ones who marked them.

The Iona Fire Department also explained that they are currently handing out supplies to the Tropicana Mobile Home Community to help people impacted there.

Thanks to an “overwhelming response,” the fire department says it is also no longer accepting donations to help those impacted by the tornado and thanked everyone who donated.