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Survivor’s Journey: Overcoming 14-Month Battle Post-Hurricane Ian

One individual has an extraordinary story of survival, yet the emotional hurdles he encountered afterward have been profound. It wasn’t until almost 14 months later that he was able to establish himself in his new residence.

Amidst the heavy rainfall of Hurricane Ian, he valiantly rescued twelve people.

Recalling the incident, Kevin Ott shared, “He was floating in a white jacket, clutching onto a boat. We urged him, ‘Come on, let’s go.’”

Despite his courageous deeds, he now finds himself in a situation where he requires aid due to the prolonged delay in transitioning him and his children to their new home.

The hold-up originated from a disagreement between the mobile home dealer and the homeowner.

Expressing his discontent, Kevin Ott voiced, “When you put forth all your efforts to secure something for your children and end up with nothing, it feels like a slap in the face.”

In search of assistance, a father from south Fort Myers reached out to WINK News anchor Nicole Gabe. Witness the Ott family’s year-long struggle to settle into their new dwelling.

In February 2023, the Ott family purchased a mobile home with the hope of moving in, only to find themselves in a state of uncertainty. The process of settling in has been a prolonged one for them.

Although the mobile home was bought in February 2023, substantial progress towards moving in was only noticeable as of Monday.

Recounting a daring rescue during Hurricane Ian, Kevin Ott shared, “She was adrift in the canoe with the dog, her daughter, her daughter’s boyfriend, the cat. And I was like, we gotta get them.”

Kevin Ott’s actions during Hurricane Ian, where he saved 12 individuals, a dog, and two cats amidst the Category 5 storm, are truly commendable.

Reflecting on the aftermath of the hurricane, Ott expressed his struggles, stating, “It’s kind of discouraging more than anything. Because here I am with three kids raised. That’s hard. Extremely, not have a place to put them in.”

Following the hurricane, Ott navigated through loan applications, permits, and consultations. Finally, on November 25, 2022, the SBA Loan was approved.

The agreement revealed that Ott bought a mobile home from Black Wolf Holdings LLC. in south Fort Myers in February 2023.

Despite the purchase, Ott had not laid eyes on the home by November 2023, facing a lack of communication and progress.

After WINK News intervened, progress was made, and on January 2, 2024, nearly 11 months after the purchase, the trailer was delivered.

Though progress appeared promising initially, delays ensued, and it took almost two months for the home to be fully installed.

After a series of setbacks and delays, Ott finally received the certificate of occupancy on Monday, signaling the green light for his official move-in.

As Ott anticipates settling in before his daughters’ birthdays at the end of the month, the journey to his new home has been a challenging yet ultimately rewarding experience.