After Ian, Florida college students left homeless by floods

Sep 30, 2022, 2:41 AM | Updated: 2:50 pm

University of Central Florida students try to get into their apartment near the campus that was tot...

University of Central Florida students try to get into their apartment near the campus that was totally flooded by rain from Hurricane Ian, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A typical Friday for University of Central Florida students living at the Arden Villas apartments means preparing for a weekend of college football viewing, beer pong and, maybe, flipping open a book or two.

Hurricane Ian required a change of plans. Students living at the complex near the UCF campus on Friday carried out water-logged clothes in garbage bags, used a pontoon and an air mattress to rescue friends and moved furniture out of flooded apartments. Cars were submerged in brown water in the apartment complex’s parking lot, which resembled a lake.

Andee Holbert, her sister and their dog evacuated Thursday before the water reached their heads. They returned to retrieve wet clothes in garbage bags and whatever else they could salvage, loading a pickup truck belonging to their father who had driven up from South Florida.

“We still had power, which is terrifying, and the lights were still on, and there’s knee deep water in our apartment,” said Holbert, a nursing student. “We just wanted to grab some of our stuff and save it before they tell us we can’t come back for a while.”

Floodwaters started rising in the apartment complex Thursday after the deadly storm tore through central Florida, leaving behind historic flooding in Orlando which saw 14 inches (35.5cm) of rainfall in some spots. Around 200 residents evacuated the apartment complex, and some students with surfboards helped rescue pets.

Deandra Smith, also a nursing student, was asleep in her third floor apartment when others evacuated. She stayed through the storm with her dog.

On Friday, other students who live in the complex helped get her to dry land by pushing her through the flooded parking lot on a pontoon so she could get some dog food.

Smith wasn’t sure if she should go to her parents’ home in South Florida or find a shelter so she can still attend classes in Orlando.

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” Smith said.


Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

25 minutes ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

14 hours ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

23 hours ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

2 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

7 days ago

boeing nasa...

Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press

Boeing launches NASA astronauts for the first time after years of delays

Boeing launched astronauts for the first time Wednesday, belatedly joining SpaceX as a second taxi service for NASA.

7 days ago

After Ian, Florida college students left homeless by floods