Former snowbirds have home destroyed in EF2 tornado


Two former snowbirds decided to make Florida their full-time home a few months ago. But, after Sunday’s tornado, the home they loved so much is no longer inhabitable.

For years, Lois Norris and her husband were snowbirds from North Carolina. But, back in October, they decided to become full-time Floridians.

Of course, some repairs needed to be completed on the home. For example, the roof was more than 25 years old, and they needed to replace it. Then, they’d be able to get insurance.

But, on Sunday, half of the roof they thought was serviceable was ripped off by the wind and thrown into the lot next door.

Norris was shocked at what could happen in such a short amount of time. “It’s amazing what it can do in that little of a time,” she said.

But, when reality hits, it hits hard. “I come in the door and told them we had a tornado and a roof, and everything was gone,” said Norris.

“I’ve had a crying day today. I’ve cried more today than I have at all like it’s just hit me, you know, that we’re homeless,” Norris said. The Norrises are just one of the many families that are homeless after Sunday’s tornado.

In Lee County, 44 homes were completely destroyed, 90 suffered major damage, and 93 had minor damage. The tornado impacted another 100 homes in some way.

“It’s just so hard to know that everything we had like that is gone,” said Norris.

But it’s the things left behind, those sentimental pieces, that can be even harder to look at. “My dad built this bench, and he was 73 when he passed in 1987,” said Norris.

To her, though, it’s less sadness and more of a sign. “It is. God’s looking after me and let me know my dad is looking after me,” she said.

Whoever is looking out for her, she hopes they answer her prayers and that she’ll be able to call Cottage Point home again one day.

“We love this place. We were raised poor. We didn’t come up having much and never dreamed that we would have a place like this. It’s not much to some people, but it’s a mansion to us,” Norris said.

Rebuilding the Norris Mansion won’t be cheap, especially since Lois and her husband have to pay for it themselves.

On Wednesday, state and federal agencies will be joining local crews to see if federal funding is possible and coming to this area.

Mrs. Norris told WINK News that any little bit helps.

MORE: If you’d like to be a part of the effort to clean up after Sunday’s tornado, you can volunteer to do so by following this link.

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