Deadly, destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season wraps up
MIAMI (WOFL FOX 35) - Thursday was the last day of an intense and destructive hurricane season that included 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes.
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will be remembered for a deadly trio of storms - Harvey, Irma and Maria - that ravaged Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and numerous other islands.
The storms killed at least 441 people and did about $369 billion in damage. This season is one of only six years on record to include multiple Category 5 hurricanes. It's only the second season to include two hurricanes making landfall at that intensity.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in South Texas on Aug. 25, leading to days of downpours that dumped more than 50 inches (1.3 meters) of rain. Harvey damaged or destroyed about 200,000 homes as the storm system flooded much of Houston and smaller coastal communities.
Irma followed, hitting almost the entire state of Florida on Sept. 11. It had the strongest maximum sustained winds observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005.
More than two months after Irma hit, some residents in Central Florida are still waiting for their homes to be repaired. At a home off Light House Road, a refrigerator was demolished and a tree made a mess out of roof, causing the people who live here to stay in a hotel.
"It's been pretty weird going from hotel from hotel, not sure what the status of the house is," explained Michael Desue.
He said he and his family have been living in limbo ever since a tree came crashing down in the home he rents.
"So the tree is about right here and I'm sitting on the couch and I hear something coming down. It just barely missed me."
He said it was a miracle he survived.
"I just had to make it to the closet and get the dust off me, fiber glass and crawl from the kitchen into the garage."
Since then, he and his family have had to move to six different hotels. They thought by the end of hurricane season they'd be ok.
"Unsure if we're gonna get the extension or not. If we're not gonna get it, where are we going to be from there."
Hurricane Maria caused widespread destruction in Puerto Rico on Sept 20, leaving much of the island without power. It was the 10th most intense Atlantic storm by barometric pressure.
The Atlantic's hurricane season begins June 1 each year.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it's important to stay in touch, by going to FEMA Recovery Centers in Orlando or Casselberry, so they can make adjustments to fit your needs. People can appeal any decisions, and authorities want to remind everyone to also file for an SBA loan, but that it could take time.
FEMA officials say close to 163,000 people in Orange County applied to FEMA for help adding up to more than $44 million. Michael realizes it may take a while before he can go back home.
Fema Recovery Centers:
2250 N. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando
215 N. Oxford, Casselberry Library, Casselberry
Information taken from the Associated Press with contributions from FOX 35's Valerie Boey.