Man rides out Irma in Big Pine Key
Islamorada, Florida, in the Upper Florida Keys on Sept. 13, 2017
ISLAMORADA, Fla. - Many houses in the Florida Keys were wiped off the map by Hurricane Irma. The only thing left where the home of Billy Quinn stood was a concrete slab that used to be his porch.
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“It was a great magical place for me,” Quinn said about his mobile home in Islamorada.
“You had a bedroom here, the bathroom there,” he said as he walked through the empty space where his home was standing just a few days ago. “It’s gut wrenching.”
For three generations of firefighters, the spot right by the water was home for his family.
“We’ve been through many storms in this trailer and this is the one that did it,” Quinn said.
What he didn’t take with him is now scattered across the mobile home park.
“My fridge is down this way and my hockey is gear down this way,” Quinn said, pointing at opposite ends of the park.
He was riding out the storm in his neighbor’s house.
“The waves were taller than me and they pushed my truck up against the house,” Quinn said.
Then a tree fell on the roof.
“I didn’t know it was a tree. I thought maybe it was the house starting to shutter,” Quinn said.
He’s hoping FEMA will help residents in the area rebuild.
“You know it’s gone,” Quinn said looking at the empty space that used to be his home. “It takes a couple days to sink in.”