Blair Martin left Florida after the hurricane to stay with her mother here in Waco.
She wanted to ensure her kids have a stable environment for the next few months. She says Lynn Haven, the town she lives in in Florida, was not under a mandatory evacuation.
“When it started making those predictions for a Cat 4, it was I felt too late to leave because I was by myself with my children, who are five and seven years old, so we rode it out in a closet,” Martin said.
Her home is only twelve miles from the beach, and winds reached up to 175 miles in her neighborhood.
The water seeping in through the roof did the worst damage to her house.
“That was the scariest part, aside from the wind and hearing things fly by and crash against the house, was hearing the roof shake. And after the roof shook, it was kind of like someone left a shower on – but this was like dozens of showers. And it just started to seep,” Martin explains.
Her house is 75 percent damaged, and will take about three to four months to repair.
Martin’s husband is in the military, and is still in Florida helping with the recovery effort. So Martin moved her children here to Waco to enroll in school. They have no plans to leave until about Christmas.
She says the outpouring of help from the community means so much to her.
“I’ve never been at a point in my life where I needed ice or water or had to stand in a bread line, and that was a really sobering moment because you don’t realize the beauty of everyone’s support and kindness until you’re in need of it or you’re truly at the mercy of others,” Martin says.
Many people in Florida still don’t have cellphone service, and Martin says her city doesn’t expect power to return for another week or so.