Orange County

Assisted living residents evacuated due to Hurricane Ian flash floods still not home

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Many of the people who evacuated from Central Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities during Hurricane Ian haven’t returned home.

Russ and Pat Luby, residents of Bridge Assisted Living Facility off Rouse Road, have been married for 62 years.


They have been through a lot in six decades, but being evacuated out of their home for Hurricane Ian was a first.

“First they noticed the water was coming in, and my dad had a little panic,” their daughter Kathy Willoughby said. “And then they came around and moved them from the second floor to the first floor to the third floor.

“By the time they got upstairs, the life-changing moment happened, and the flash flood came. So then they were panicking, ‘How are we going to get out?’”

Read: Neighbors near Rouse Road say they lost everything in Hurricane Ian floods

They were part of the 200 residents that had to be evacuated the night of the storm.

The Lubys lived on the first floor where more than a foot of water flooded their assisted living facility.

They lost everything but what fit in a plastic bag.

Read: Orange County crews rescue people from flooded assisted living facility

“They are going through that process, that everything I worked for is gone. So that’s hard,” Willoughby said.

Residents that night were taken to other nursing homes. Willoughby’s parents were one of the 100 taken to Port Saint Lucie.

That is where they are now, but soon they will move to another location in Ocoee close to their family and likely won’t go back to the facility on Rouse Road.

Read: Daytona Beach woman loses 30 years’ worth of possessions from Ian flooding

“Right after it happened, I was told it could be 18 months, but now I am hearing maybe nine months, a year, could be longer. They really don’t know. The first floor is completely unusable. It has to be rebuilt,” Willoughby said.

Willoughby said nursing homes in the area have offered reduced rates for those displaced.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler,

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.