“We’ve kind of adjusted but it’s been a really big change,” she said. “COVID made us be able to work from home … but to not have an office to be able to go to to work at because there’s no power or electricity, my kids having new schedules with the school … It’s just been a day-by-day adjustment period.”
In late September, Ian terrorized millions of people, battering western Cuba before raking across Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, where it mustered enough strength for a final assault on South Carolina. People are still cleaning up debris, fixing damage and picking up the pieces of their lives in the aftermath.
This year, Stites said, she and her family are having a very “humble” holiday season.
“We’re so grateful to be in our home and to have a roof over our head and walls that are finished,” she said on “Morning in America” a few days before Christmas. “Many others don’t, so we’re just going to hold on to each other closely and remember that it’s not all about the presents, but just to be grateful for every day that we have.”
Federal Emergency Management Agency crews and other officials have come in to help with cleanup in the wake of the deadly storm, and neighbors have also been helping each other.
“It’s really boots on the ground here,” Stites said. “It’s totally a community investment and I know that we’re going to bounce back because everyone is so committed.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.