(MIAMI) — Louis Freeman, a Miami-based radiologist, said he returned home after working for 48 hours straight during Hurricane Irma to find his property in turmoil.
“It’s hard,” Freeman said. “You come home after 48 hours straight of working and then you find everything you’ve worked hard for literally destroyed.”
Trees on his property were completely uprooted, concrete wall structures were tumbled and parts of his home’s roof were ripped off by the force of Irma, which first made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 140-mph winds and a storm surge of 10 feet.
Thankfully, Freeman said he and his family were all safe after the storm passed, but “it is still hard.”
“These are all material things that can be replaced,” Freeman said. “Thank God that everybody is safe.”
The National Guard was conducting house-to-house searches for survivors in the hardest-hit areas of Florida on Monday and road crews were in the early stages of assessing infrastructure damages.
More than 6.7 million resident were still without power across the Sunshine State as of late Monday, representing about 64 percent of Florida energy customers, according to energy providers.
It’s still too early determine exactly how much it will cost to rebuild the state, but some estimates say Irma’s damage could total as much as $100 billion, making it one of the costliest hurricanes of all time, according to AccuWeather President Joel Myers.
But Freeman, a partner with Radiology Associates in South Florida, said he knows that Floridians will band together to get the state back up and running.
“The important thing is that we’re fine,” he said, acknowledging his family members in South Carolina who were also impacted by Irma. “The community is going to get together and clean up and continue having a good life.”
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