Washington Post

A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando's future

Rose Jusino moves back into her room at the Star Motel, part of a concentrated strip of motels in Kissimmee, Fla., only miles away from Walt Disney World. Foto: The Washington Post/Eve Edelheit

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Rose Jusino was waking up after working the graveyard shift at Taco Bell when a friend knocked on her door at the Star Motel. The electric company trucks were back. The workers were about to shut off the power again.

The 17-year-old slammed her door and cranked the air conditioning as high as it would go, hoping that a final blast of cold air might make the 95-degree day more bearable. She then headed outside to the motel's overgrown courtyard, a route that took her past piles of maggot-infested food that had been handed out by do-gooders and tossed aside by the motel's residents. Several dozen of them were gathered by a swimming pool full of fetid brown water, trying to figure out their next move...

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