100-year-old hurricane victim still feels 'blessed,' despite damage

Even at 100 years old, there isn't much that keeps Adele Durrance off of her feet.

"I’ve been very blessed. I've been very blessed that I can still drive and I can still see,” she chuckled, adding, “I don't hear as well as I used to."

On Friday, October 27 -- the day Adele reached her centennial birthday – she spent the morning cleaning up hurricane debris inside her house.  During Hurricane Irma, a large oak tree from her yard fell onto her home. It created a hole that pierced the roof and the ceiling above her kitchen.

"I was in the house by myself. I just heard it fall and knew it was something bad," she recalled.

Adele grabbed a flashlight and closed off the doors to the hallway leading to her bedroom. She demonstrated how she crouched down in the hallway until the storm passed.

What was left behind was a badly damaged home with tree branches, insulation, and pieces of her roof covering the floor of her kitchen and dining room.

Now, Adele has had to leave the home she's lived in for nearly 60 years. She is living with family as she waits for a professional engineer to determine if her home can be repaired.

Image 1 of 9

She says each day she comes back to her home, picking up the pieces and checking on what's left of her flowers.

"I haven't really cried, because what happens, happens," she continued. "It was nobody's fault but nature. Everybody has been so good to me, and I'm just looking to the future. That's all I can do."

Adele has outlived two husbands while living in her home. She had no children of her own, but has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren through each of her husbands’ daughters.

Adele said she hopes she will be able to move back into her home soon, but she is not worried about losing her home either.

She said she is taking her mind off of the storm with big plans to celebrate her 100th birthday. Family members from all across the country are coming to Bartow on Saturday to throw her a birthday party.

"I'm not as bad off as so many other people,” she added.  “That's why I feel so blessed.”