COLLIER COUNTY

People in Collier County are working to clean up after Hurricane Ian brought high winds and flooding to the area.

Although Collier County was not directly affected by the storm, people were still badly affected.

Tim Wheeler weathered the storm at his home in North Naples. He says the water was only two inches from his front door.

Wheeler was more fortunate than most of his neighbors. His house was renovated in 1995, and when the renovations were done, his house was raised 12 feet. Stormy hurricane Ian left his neighbors under water.

Although Wheeler and his family survived that storm safely, he said he would never stay out of a storm again. “As hard as these things are to predict, they’re just not things you roll the dice with. Pack your things and go, and go early,” Wheeler said.

In the River Park community of Naples, people are also dealing with the effects of water that has invaded their homes. Many of them are now homeless.

Some people WINK News spoke to didn’t have flood insurance, others didn’t have home insurance, and now they have nothing.

The remains of people’s memories, one by one, were piled up on the side of the road, waiting for the garbage truck to take them away.

Amidst the destruction, there was still hope. Vincent Keyes, a native of the area, described the community spirit as “vibrant.”

Barbecue chicken, hot dogs and baked beans were served Sunday at Trinity Community Church in Naples. The pastor of the church said he decided to help the residents of River Park because that is where his congregation lives.

There are several places in Collier County where you can find food and water if you need it.

In Naples, you can get MREs, water and ice at Sugden Reginal Park at 4284 Avalon Cr. In Everglades City, they are available at 609 Collier Ave. at 610 Buckner Ave. N. In Immokalee, you can find resources at the State Farmers Market at 424 New Market Rd E.

If you have any questions about where to find resources, you can call 311 or (239) 252-8999.

NCH ​​also helps those in need by offering free virtual assistance to the community. Patients with internet access can visit NCHmd.org/virtualcare and use coupon code NCH to get free help.

For those without internet at home, the NCH Employee Medical Center at Greentree Plaza will be open Monday from 7am to 7pm so patients can come in and use Wi-Fi and/or the NCH iPad to make virtual visits with Amwell.