Floridians left with nothing but tents after Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian

(NewsNation) — For more than two months, Grant Erickson has been trying to piece his seafood business back together.

Erickson & Jensen Seafood was severely damaged by Hurricane Ian, leaving Erickson without the main source of his livelihood.  

“This was a thriving business before the storm,” Erickson said. “We had $1 million a month coming in. It went to zero.”

For fishers like Grant, their boats are more than just a business. Inside are diapers, toys and bunk beds, among other things. Families live in them.

Other residents, such as those on Shrimp Boat Lane, have been left with nothing but tents to sleep in.

Michelle Bryant is one of those people.

“I had to get a big tent because I sprained my foot,” Bryant said of her living situation.

Like others, Bryant has been struggling to receive federal assistance from FEMA.

“At first they messed up my paperwork,” she said. “They said I didn’t have any damages so I had to go two months without any help.”

Hundreds of residents on Shrimp Boat Lane said their FEMA applications for assistance were rejected because they all put the same address.

In a statement, FEMA told NewsNation, “The numbers you mention are concerning and I will reach out to our individual assistance branch leadership and when I get a response, I will reach back to you.”

In the meantime, FEMA was able to solve Bryant’s problem.

“They got it fixed so I finally got my money,” she said.

Now, Erickson is determined to get back on his feet.

“We’re going to build it back to one degree or another,” he said. “But this is a hard task.”

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