Palm City resident still displaced following Hurricane Matthew damage to her home

limited financial resources for Martin County
Posted at 12:04 AM, Oct 12, 2016

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- Hurricane Matthew is now a distant thought for the majority of South Florida residents. But, one Palm City resident is still feeling the aftermath. Her home is still unlivable, she says.

Michelle Rogan says a tree fell on a power line attached to her home. That sparked a fire near the connection to the house, damaging the power source to the home.


She was asleep inside with her children.


Her neighbor, Floyd Kirkland, was awake watching the storm when he saw the sparks across the street. “I saw flames coming out the top of the pipe. It looked like it was coming out the top of the house,” Kirkland said.


He raced to wake Rogan and her family, knocking on their door relentlessly.


“My next thought was I’m going to have to knock down the door because I figured they’d been overcome by smoke,” Kirkland said.


Once they woke up, the ran outside and called 911. Fire fighters responded even at the height of the storm.


“Even though we were fortunate enough not to lose our belongings and our stuff, we are displaced. We are homeless,” Rogan said.


She has no electricity. Fixing the damaged power source is proving to be expensive, and a lengthy process.


She’s staying in a hotel, accumulating costs for her landlord.


“They’re paying for the hotel room beyond what their insurance will pay for,” Rogan said.


FEMA is not offering disaster relief to Martin County residents. Rogan says the help she can receive from the Red Cross is very limited.


She knows other areas of the state and region experienced much more damage than Martin County.


Still, she wishes there were more options for financial help for damage related to Hurricane Matthew.


“I don’t want to take away from the devastation [elsewhere], But I mean, there should be something [for Martin County].”


The county is ready to send an inspector to her home, but there is no definite timeframe for when the damage could be repaired. The power to her home can’t be restored until the repairs are completed.


She also has a bird in the home she has to regularly stop by to feed.


She has a child with serious medical conditions. Her child has to sleep with oxygen tanks, making the displacement much more difficult.