Harvey volunteers from Florida head back home

Many volunteers from Florida helping Harvey victims are getting ready to head back home.

HOUSTON - On top of homes in Florida, Irma threatens to rip away volunteers helping Houston recover.

Some working in Texas took off or plan to leave soon to take care of their own damage.

Cenovio Villa, Jr. came from Plant City, Fla., near Tampa. He owns a home remodeling company and volunteers with the United Aid Foundation.

Villa helped install new stoves and refrigerators in Houston homes hit hard by Harvey. Then, Irma roared in threatening his home, wife and three children. He went back, but not for good.

"I had committed to a lot of people (in Houston) that we were going to bring them stuff," he said. "So there's no question that we weren't going to go."

Villa briefly returned to Texas to deliver promised aid to 15 families.

Storms chased Scott Norman and his family's wrecker squad from Key Largo to College Station where they are helping insurance companies store thousands of cars ruined by Hurricane Harvey.

Norman's home is fine. However, his dad is stuck in the Keys surrounded by damage. He is anxious to see family.

Norman plans to return in the next two weeks.

"Right now I'm making a steady pay check," Norman said. "Right now, I can make some money and still pay the bills that I have down there.

Villa is already home in Florida cleaning up. His kids and wife, though, know what's next.

He intends to help with recovery in Naples. For many volunteers, he feels Houston is history.

"We've seen it in other situations you know with  in the earthquakes in Haiti," Villa said. "Everybody donates in the first two weeks and then after that everybody kind of forgets."

Villa said there is still plenty of homegrown support in the Houston area. In fact, he said the city has more people helping neighbors than any place he's ever seen.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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