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Residents Clean Up After Flood

Joshua Condon

After Tuesday night’s deluge, local government officials, business owners, and residents across the region had little rain to deal with as they began to pick up the pieces from this week’s floods.

As much as 27 inches were recorded in some areas over a 30 hour period.

The floodwaters left some residents stranded. While many were pulled to safety on Wednesday, with equipment and assistance from the state, a final round of checks was underway on Thursday.

Daniel Hahn, Emergency Management Plans Chief for Santa Rosa County.

"Well we have National Guard assets that are out with certain fire   departments helping them access areas that are inaccessible due to damaged roads or flooding. So, they’re out there now trying to find isolated people, if there are any. “We don’t know,."

Hahn says there is damage to infrastructure and there are efforts to determine the extent of destruction to private property across the county. Also building inspectors and property appraisers are conducting damage assessments.

One of the many communities where flooding was a problem, was Floridatown in the Pace area.  Along Sheridan Street, the water has receded, but house after house had huge piles of flood damaged carpets and debris on their property.

Credit Joshua Condon
Flood debris outside Floridatown home.

Joshua Condon lives in one of the houses on this street this home. 

The yard is still soggy. Inside, an industrial-style fan is going in a back bedroom.

"It looked like a mud puddle in here. Everything just trashed you know," says Condon.

Condon has spent the past couple of days moving furniture and ripping up carpet.  A big stack of it sides outside near his driveway.

On this day, he’s focused on getting rid of wet baseboards and drywall damaged by the floodwater.

"You know right now, we’re just trying to get all the wet stuff out, and get these walls cut open, get the walls exposed so the house doesn’t get ruined with mold, you know."

Condon has lived in the house with girlfriend for eight years. They’ve never experienced a flood event like this before and have no flood insurance. She was on the phone with their insurance adjuster. He was lamenting the work and cost ahead.

Credit Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media
WUWF Public Media
Joshua Condon begins flood repairs at Floridatown home.

Across the area, similar scenes were playing out.

WUWF's Danielle Freeman spoke to Ron and Carla Ellis, who were dealing with the flooding at their home in Shalimar in Okaloosa County. 

"Well compared to people that need it, I can afford to pay it. But, I’m guest-i-mating that when we get through, it’ll be between $10,000-$15,000" says Ron Ellis.

The Ellis' say their back yard was like a swamp, and for a time, so was the floor inside the house.

"We’re on a low end and water backs up here before it ever starts flowing out. But then after if quit raining it went down fairly quick, but we don’t know till we get everything up what damage it did to the sheetrock, what have you…the carpet’s ruined. Carpet’s ruined," they said.

The Ellis’ are both 70 years old and will need help pulling the carpet up and making repairs. They wanted a POD to store their belongings on their property. But, because of a delay in getting one, they’ve decided to rent a U-Haul truck and move their belongings to a local storage unit.