Hey. My name is Joe Rigano and my best friend/family house has been severely damaged by the high waters and flooding caused from Hurricane Ian on September 29th and 30th. They have 2 children and 2 dogs.
In the middle of the night the flooding got so bad that they had to evacuate the house by loading their 3 years old and dogs into a kayak and trek through the severe winds and rain in stomach deep water to a higher elevated friends house a few blocks away.
After assessing the damages the following morning everything was destroyed. The walls, the cabinets, the couch, the beds (that were floating) the music equipment for his band, the shed and work equipment, the cars and even all the kids toys. This is a life altering event. Shannon, his wife, owns a small independent salon that was also flooded.
No one in the area carried flood insurance as it was not necessary because we are not in a flood zone. No one imagined this would ever happen.
This family was not only my best friends but also many others in the community. They always opened their doors and welcomed everyone to their house as they would cater to events almost weekly for everyone. Whether footballs Sunday or thanksgiving and holidays or just to come try something new they cooked and even would get a random water slide in the backyard for kids and families to enjoy. They never asked for anything in return and loved being the house and host for all their family and friends.
They are displaced currently and while FEMA will come into play eventually and help, it is a long road ahead. Many NOW out of pocket costs are occurring and anything anyone can do to help for donations to keep them afloat until the next step. This is devastating for them as well as our community and the many other homes and families who are also experiencing something similar. Thank you for your consideration and you will always be welcome at the Mastrapolo’s.