‘It’s been devastating’: Volusia 55+ community reeling from Hurricane Ian damage

OSTEEN, Fla. — Dozens of homes in a Volusia County mobile home community remain flooded nearly a week after Hurricane Ian blew through the area.


Others in the Kove Estates in Osteen still don’t even have a roof.

READ: Floodwaters continue to rise in Osceola County

The 55-plus community sits off of State Road 415, south of Doyle Road. Many of the residents there say they’re unsure how they’ll ever be able to afford the necessary repairs.

“It’s been devastating for a lot of folks here who got their homes flooded.” Kove Estates resident Debra Walker said.

Walker has lived in the community since 2009. She says she saw homes with the roofs torn completely off from Hurricane Ian. Others have had to wade through several inches of water just to make it to and from their homes.

Walker estimates close to 50 of the community’s 276 homes suffered some kind of damage.

“A lot of these places can’t be insured because they are mobile homes, and depending on the age, they don’t have insurance because a lot of people can’t get flood insurance here in Florida,” Walker said.

READ: Geneva residents voice frustration over Seminole County’s response to Hurricane Ian

Most of the Kove Estates residents are snowbirds who haven’t even seen the damage done to their homes.

“We got a lot of elderly,” Kove Estates resident Jeff King said. “They are panicking…they don’t have family close.”

King moved to the area three years ago from New York and has been helping out with maintenance around the park. He says many people there are on fixed incomes, or living off of their social security.

“Hopefully FEMA comes through and some of those people get help,” King said.

READ: City of Orlando no longer asking residents to limit water use

FEMA has declared Volusia County a disaster area, meaning residents there can apply for assistance to help cover basic home repairs, temporary housing costs, or other needs due to Hurricane Ian that aren’t covered by insurance.

For more information on the FEMA assistance application process, click here.

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