New outlook for Ike victims

SHORE ACRES, TX [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It's been over three months since the storm ravaged the coast and turned countless lives upside down. It was an experience that has given Ike victims a new outlook this Christmas season.

In much of the small city of Shore Acres, time has stood still for more than three months. Nearly every home in the area is damaged. Half of them are probably unoccupied and few of them are staying for Christmas.

But there is one family.

"I'm going to make Italian-style broccoli," said Dorothy Vorino.

The Vorinos' new home survived the storm nearly intact. In the days after Hurricane Ike, their house served as a kitchen for their neighbors.

"We invited all the people in. No one had gas or water and we were even able to heat hot water and everything," said Phillip Vorino.

But now their neighbors are out of their own homes and living elsewhere. The Vorinos are all but alone on their block today. It's quiet except for the Christmas music in the home and the sound Dorothy misses most is that of a piano from three houses down that used to be played by an elderly neighbor.

"She didn't' need music. She just played and she was an Alzheimer's patient," said Dorothy. "That, she remembered."

It's the memory of life before the storm and now. The Vorinos' home is lit, decorated and awaiting family. Normally, they would have gone to their children's home for Christmas.

"But we decided to have everyone here this year," said Dorothy.

The Vorinos hope by having everyone at their home this year will bring back some life back to their neighborhood.

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