Derelict boats becoming problem in South Florida after Hurricane Irma

Many people who live on boats left homeless after storm

By Shyann Malone - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - Derelict boats are becoming a major problem in South Florida as the cleanup following Hurricane Irma continues.

It's been four weeks since Irma has come and gone, but the damage left behind still lingers.

"Everything was destroyed here," Rafael Cabrera, who was left homeless after the storm, said. 

Before Irma, Cabrera and Ines Castellanos lived on their sailboat in Watson Island, but with the rough winds and storm surge brought on by the storm, their vessel didn't stand a chance.

The damage was so bad that the couple is now homeless.

"We're trying to survive," Castellanos said. 

Both suffer from several medical conditions and are forced to live outside.

At night, they sleep in a pickup truck with their 11 dogs.

"This is the hardest, and I don't want to get rid of them. These are my babies," Castellanos said. 

"I have nothing. These people have nothing -- they have dogs," Eric Manzoli said. 

Manzoli has a similar story, only he has no choice but to live on his battered boat.

"Right now, I'm living on a boat that's full of mold," he said. 

Manzoli said he filed a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and was told a check is on the way.

Until then, he's stuck living on his damaged boat. 

"There's nothing anybody's doing for us. (The) American Red Cross was supposed to come down," Manzoli said. 

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