Irma leaves parts of Naples underwater

Flooding makes it difficult for people to return home

By Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

NAPLES, Fla. - The Aaron family has decided it is going to stick around and rebuild after Hurricane Irma destroyed the back of its house in Naples.  

The roof was also torn apart by Irma's strong winds.

"We knew we were going to lose something, but not half the house," Victoria Aaron said.  

Across town, a mobile home park was no match for Irma’s powerful winds.

The Gimenez family was in its home after the roof gave way and ruined everything inside.

"We got kind of scared and started crying a little. We thought the trailer was going to leave and pop out and destroy everything," Adriana Gimenez said.

The Naples airport captured the storm's fury. 

The hangers there were blown apart by Irma's 142 mile per hour winds -- the strongest recorded in Collier County. 

A pilot at the airport feared the worst for his plane.

"You've got a couple of planes out here. A few planes didn't make it. It was pretty scary. 142 mph (winds) came across here and the eye came across here," Kenny Boynton, a pilot, said.

Downtown Naples was also not immune to the damage. 

"We were lucky. We only had 6 inches to a foot of water. I'm cleaning it up. Naples is a beautiful city and we hate to see it hit like that," said a resident, who did not want to be named.

The concern in Naples beach was the storm surge, which was about four to five feet.

City officials worried that the storm surge was going to damage the Naples Pier, which has been closed since the hurricane warning went into effect.

To help its neighbors through a rough patch, the folks at Harold's Place Bar and Restaurant fired up a grill and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs for free. 

"We've been here for more than 40 years and you take care of your own, period. We had first responders in here and they couldn't believe what we’re doing for folks. We knocked out 150 sandwiches. We need to feed some hungry people," John Rusick said.  

 

 

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