Ivan Aftermath: Part 3

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

There are thousands of stories of people displaced by Hurricane Ivan who are still living with friends or in hotel rooms, their homes in shambles.

Belva Mazzio’s house is barely standing. Pummeled by Ivan, it is clearly no longer a home. These days Belva spends her spare time rummaging through the debris in her front yard.

Belva says, “Some days I feel like I just can’t come back and do it again.”

An 1860s antique grand piano sits ruined in her front yard. More than two months after Ivan, Belva and her husband are still fighting with their insurance company over whether it was wind or flood that caused the damage.

Belva adds, “Every week it’s working on it, working on it. It will be two weeks; it will be another two weeks. When do you expect you will be able to come back? Years, years.”

In the meantime, Belva has been staying with a friend of a friend between every other weekend visits from her traveling husband. He planned to ride out the storm, but left when the wind destroyed the glass front of their home.

Belva says, “I just thank God that we are all safe and alive. I’ve got two new grandbabies that I can be thankful for and just find some stuff that I can pass on to my children.”

Belva and her husband are just two of the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people who are still displaced by Ivan.


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