MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - A Middleburg mother and son who were the subjects of a photograph taken after Hurricane Irma tell First Coast News they’re still unable to live in the home that was damaged by the storm.
Terrence McKeen and his mother, Gloria, live along Black Creek. A photograph taken of them by photographer Gideon Mendel is part of an exhibit on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville through Dec. 9.
“Pain. Hurt. Something I can’t ever let anybody else feel,” Terrence said of what he felt the first time he saw the photograph.
The emotions are still as strong for Gloria, too.
“Every time I come down here [to the house] it hurts,” she said. Gloria has not been able to move back into the home since Irma hit. Terrence has since found a new home.
Terrence was the first family member to see the damage after the storm. He took a boat in after Black Creek crested and could only see the roof.
“I knew it was gonna be more than what I expected,” he said.
But the brunt of the damage was on the inside. The furniture was tossed around and brown water filled the bathtub. The McKeen’s lost almost everything.
“It looked like the house caught on fire,” Terrence said. “We’re still in a struggle to get everything back.”
One year later, the house has been gutted and the walls rebuilt, but it’s still unlivable.
One year later, still so much uncertainty.
“I wouldn’t wish on anybody what I went through this whole year,” Gloria said.
The Clay County-based organization, TeamEffort, is helping rebuild the McKeen’s house. They’re in need of volunteers with construction skills to help the McKeen’s and others in similar situations. If you can help, call TeamEffort at 904-214-8020.