Elderly residents of southwest Florida left vulnerable after homes destroyed by Hurricane Ian

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – In the midst of all the destruction across the southwest coast of Florida, elderly residents were left vulnerable after communities, homes were destroyed by the effects of Hurricane Ian.

Some like Fort Meyers resident Janet Siegel were brought to a Coral Springs senior living facility and spoke with Local 10 News after their homes were ripped apart.

The roofs were gone,” said Siegel. “Everything was in a roar.”

For Calusa Harbour residents living in the Fort Myers senior living facility, just riding out the storm was frightening in it of itself.

One of the roofs ripped right off of one of the buildings there,” said resident Emil Dariano.

Residents like Carole Coasts told Local 10 that air condition units started to fall from the top floor of the facility.

Some of us saw an air conditioner come down from our 20TH floor and it was hanging off the roof,” said Coasts.

After the storm passed and flood waters outside of their building went down, many were left without power, running water and a safe place to stay.

Campbell Epes, Executive Director of Park Summit Senior Living said, “Your heart definitely goes out to them. It is a scary situation.”

Epes said he brought in 38 residents who are now being cared for in a much drier facility.

We are all trying to pitch in right now and cover their needs and contact the families,” said Epes.

Some residents like 100-year-old Emil Dariano was lucky enough to have his grandson living nearby who picked him up.

Dariano’s grandson Joshua Atkinson told Local 10 that he is fortunate to see he had survived the storm and was safe.

I am glad to see that he is ok and anyone else we are praying for them and thinking about them for sure,” said Atkinson.

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.