One Year Later: Hurricane Irma evacuees on transition from FL to the TN Valley

One Year Later: Hurricane Irma evacuees on transition from FL to the TN Valley

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - A Decatur family is adjusting to calling the Tennessee Valley home after moving North from Miami last fall. They were forced to evacuate when Hurricane Irma hit in September 2017.

After a weeks stay in Decatur, they returned home to Florida and found their home flooded out. “Whole apartment was destroyed. Everything we built for 3 years was in there," said Joseph Rex.

As Hurricane Michael marches ashore along the Florida panhandle, early sights of the destruction is eerily similar for them.

Kindness and plain ‘Southern Hospitality’ kept them here in the Valley, but it has not been an easy transition. “It’s been rough but manageable," said Rex.

They moved here with little to nothing. After our initial report on the family, dozens of people donated to help get them on their feet.

“This isn’t a fairy tale. It’s not like we came out here with a problem and now we’re living out here immaculate. No, it’s a struggle but it is what you make it," said Rex.

It was a scary reality to return home to destruction last year, but by not looking back, they say they’ve learned about a lot about themselves and about life. “There’s a completely different life out there. There’s so much more to learn," confessed Rex.

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