NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Hurricane Ida forced them from their homes in September. On Christmas Eve, 50 local families were still displaced, living in Montgomery County motels. Their neighbors worked together Friday to give them some hope for the holidays.
Dozens of families took the time to embrace the holiday spirit. In the nearly four months since the remnants of Hurricane Ida pummeled this region, some residents are still struggling to get back on their feet.READ MORE: Philadelphia City Council Introduces 'Life-Saving Ordinance' Following Fairmount Fire That Killed 12
The Cirigliano family is all smiles, but they have endured significant hardship the last few months.
“I have moments when it’s hard, but most of the time it’s … I’m sorry,” Gerrie Cirigliano said.
Eyewitness News first spoke with Cirigliano back in October, about a month after Hurricane Ida.
Their home is still in desperate need of repairs. The family is now staying at the Marriott Residence Inn in Collegeville.
“Most of the time it’s been really good, because honestly, because of my fabulous family,” Cirigliano said.
With more than $100 million in damages, about 350 Montgomery County residents are staying at nearby hotels.
The miniature-size Christmas tree decorating Cirigliano’s hotel room has been adorned with specially made ornaments from neighbors.New Study Finds States With Weaker Gun Laws Have Higher Rates Of Gun Deaths
“We’ll still have the kids opening gifts, but it’s just going to be a different space,” Cirigliano said. “We’ll be together, and everybody is healthy and we’ll be together and we’re going to make the best of it.”
4-year-old Sueella can barely manage her new gifts. After a quick chat with Santa, she and mom Crystal Shivers sit down for a Christmas meal.
“We lost our whole home. It’s condemned so it’s over, we can never go back,” Crystal Shivers said.
Along with 350 people, they are staying at nearby Montgomery County hotels.
“I appreciate them making the Christmas special for the baby,” Shivers said. “I appreciate it. She don’t even know we’re displaced. Nothing. She just thinks we’re just having fun in a hotel.”
Spearheaded by Lower Providence Township Supervisor Cara Coless, the community came together at the Valley Forge Hilton Garden Inn, volunteering time, cooking and gifts — all to make Christmas brighter for fellow neighbors.
“Most of the food is homemade so people actually baked so people can have some of the Christmas classics,” Coless said. “While their future hangs in the balance, they, along with 50 families, get to enjoy a home-cooked holiday feast and nearly 30 children are walking away with gifts.”MORE NEWS: Social Media Photo Of Student With BB Gun Led To Academy Park High School Lockdown, Delaware County DA Says
The search for a permanent home continues for a number of families. For now, they’re taking the time out to cherish each other.