Home after home damaged by flooding
ST. AUGUSTINE Fla — Many homes across the city of St. Augustine have water damage from Hurricane Ian and now clean-up efforts are underway. Action News Jax spotted one home after another ravaged by the storm.
There were items that were supposed to be inside the home, out on the street because they were damaged from the flooding. One homeowner had several couches, drawers, windows and even a basketball hoop and trampoline outside that took damage.
“This is not what we want at all we don’t want to be putting our couch and life on the road,” homeowner Brad Melvin said.
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Hurricane Ian brought some major flooding to the city including the areas of Davis Shores and Anastasia Island.
“It was too much everything floated, it’s just crazy the number of garbage cans we saw it just catastrophic the amount of damage we saw floating down the waves,” he said.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis walked a few streets in St. Augustine on Friday and even spoke with Melvin.
He told reporters there’s talk about potentially working with FEMA to expand individual assistance eligibility.
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“There’s a conversation about declaring this county available for individual assistance that has not been done yet, so hopefully it will and then at that point the individuals will come and get assistance,” DeSantis said.
Just down the road from Melvin, the damage is unfortunately a similar story for Todd Dernick.
“There’s nothing like a waterfront home but not if you’re in the middle of the ocean,” he said.
His living room and lower levels saw the bulk of the mess, saying it was probably time to start from scratch.
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“When I was in my kid’s room is when it really set in, my kid’s rooms are on the downstairs,” he said. “My daughter’s room and her lights aren’t turning on so something is wrong with the electrical there now and my son’s room.... all their stuff is destroyed,” he said.
A couple of homeowners told Action News Jax they’re hoping there is some sort of change like a seawall to prevent this water damage from happening again and again.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management Director, Kevin Guthrie was with the Governor, saying the fire chief in St. Augustine mentioned some of the lift stations were more resilient, saying they’ve gotten better at hurricane response.
Deanne Criswell, the FEMA Administrator was also in St. Augustine with the Governor, saying it’s important to see the damage in person; they’ve had 13 counties authorized for FEMA help. They said it’s important to stress insurance is the first line of help and FEMA can assist with the recovery process.
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