More than 20 people huddled inside a one bedroom apartment, hoping to survive Hurricane Ian

They live on San Carlos Island, near Fort Myers Beach

Structures are unrecognizable on San Carlos Island, adjacent to Fort Myers Beach.

SAN CARLOS ISLAND, Fla. – Structures are unrecognizable on San Carlos Island, adjacent to Fort Myers Beach. Temple Condone lives there, in Sunnyland Court Mobile Home Park.

“I was scared, I was really scared, I started to panic,” Condone said. “The water was getting higher.”

When Hurricane Ian made landfall, she stayed thinking she’d be safe riding out the storm. She survived, her home didn’t.

“I was panicking, I was trying to dry clothes,” she said. When the water began to rise, Condone and her neighbors ran to Carlos Hernandez’ apartment on the second floor.

“It was scary, I never have had this experience in my life,” Hernandez said.

Temple Condone shares how she and her neighbors survived Hurricane Ian (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

About 21 people were huddled inside the one bedroom apartment as Hurricane Ian battered the coast. Almost everyone in the mobile home park crammed inside, when Carlos became concerned about his neighbor.

“Where’s Bob?” Hernandez said. “The guy who lives downstairs.”

They heard banging during the storm.

“That’s the banging marks right there, with the handle,” Bob Heather said. “I used a handle to boom, boom, boom.”

Carlos found a hammer to break a window and pull Bob out, who said he didn’t likely have much time left before he would have likely drown.

The people of San Carlos Island lost their homes, but they don’t want to leave. They want to rebuild.

Temple said she filed a FEMA application for disaster relief, since she lost everything.

“It said my application was denied, I have nothing,” Temple said.

Another devastating blow to the woman who lost her home of more than 20 years.

Temple will now appeal her claim, delaying any potential relief.

About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.