PORTLAND – Hurricane Irma left behind devastation in the south, but many people up north are also feeling the impact.
Portland resident Bruce Morrison has owned a second home in the Florida Key’s for 13 years. Prior to Irma’s arrival, he like many others, were holding onto hope.
"Just basically waiting by the TV," Morrison said. "Watching all the predictions."
While watching the news, after the storm, Morrison was able to learn about the devastating impact Irma had on his neighborhood.
“The camera had just caught part of my house as it zipped by and I'm like, “Oh my gosh there's my house on TV,” it was like the most surreal thing,” he said. “I just kept rewinding it and thinking about my neighbors.”
Morrison's house was damaged, but it was sandwiched between two homes that were completely destroyed.
“They live there year round, that's their year round residence, so that's kind of everything they have there,” he said.
Morrison said he’s grateful his elderly neighbors evacuated before Irma stripped their homes.
His friend, who stayed in the area during the storm, went to check out Morrison’s house, Friday. He said the roof shingles were blown off, water was inside, all the furniture was starting to mold and his first level had been totally washed out by the storm surge.
“I could see in some of the other imagery, all the items from my house, lawn furniture, tools that I had, just all of my personal stuff kind of strewed about the street,” he said. “It could be a lot worse, you look around you see, it fared better than most, so I have to be thankful for that.”
Morrison believes the way his home was constructed is what saved the structure. He said looking at aerial pictures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it seems the newer homes, with metal roofs were the ones in better condition.
As soon as he gets the green light, Morrison will be going down to the Keys with his friends to rebuild his home and help restore his community.
“Probably one of the biggest things is getting the materials there and the manpower to do it,” he said. “It’s monumental.”