Volusia County leaders estimate over a quarter billion in damage from Hurricane Ian

Edgewater residents still struggling with persistent floods

Homeowners in Edgewater are still struggling to empty their homes and salvage what they can a week after Hurricane Ian.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The latest estimate of the damage wrought in Volusia County by Hurricane Ian has surpassed a quarter of a billion dollars, according to the county’s Emergency Management Director Jim Judge.

Speaking at Frank Rendon Park in Daytona Beach Shores, Judge said the estimate rises each time he checks it, not by thousands of dollars, but by millions.

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“Damage so far, $263 million, and that’s not only from the coast, it’s all the way to the St. Johns River,” Judge said. “We estimate about 6,000 homes have been inundated, 1,000 businesses, hotels and motels damaged. We have about 1,000 homes along the St. Johns that are in danger of flooding.”

Judge said 25,000 individuals in Volusia County had applied so far for individual assistance from FEMA. He was joined at the event by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton and others.

DeSantis remarked on the bruised coastal community, also mentioning he visited Osceola County earlier Friday.

“You obviously see you have damage on the coast, then you have ongoing issues with some of the flooding that we see further inland, and these are issues where you had 20 inches of rain dropped down on different parts of Central Florida and if you look at that map, it’s like from southern Sarasota all the way into Central Florida, into Volusia and even up the coast a little bit from here. (It) was really, really a historic event,” DeSantis said. “So we’ve seen flooding. I was just in Osceola County looking at some of the neighborhoods that are, you know, fortunately what I saw today... the water did not quite get up to the homes and in many places of Florida, including here, you know, you had the homes that actually were flooded. Makes it a lot more difficult once it gets inside your home.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop in Daytona Beach Shores to discuss the significant damages caused by Hurricane Ian.

The governor on Thursday spoke at a restaurant in Nokomis, where he updated Floridians on several recovery milestones in communities left wrecked by Hurricane Ian, such as FDOT’s quick completion of a temporary bridge connecting Pine Island to the mainland.

Meanwhile, homeowners in Edgewater are still struggling to empty their homes and salvage what they can a week after Hurricane Ian.

Residents along Lime Tree Drive said their neighborhood experienced the worst flooding in decades.

Homeowner Vanessa Brooks said she purchased her home earlier this year.

“Too much water here, terrible, terrible,” Brooks said.

Dave and Nancy Belen said their adult children rushed to Florida following the flooding from Hurricane Ian. The couple said they’ve spent more than 12 hours per day for a week cleaning what they can.

“It just kept coming up because there’s a canal  that runs behind the house and a retention pond over there,” Dave Belen said.

After Hurricane Ian, Edgewater officials said a large number of streets were not accessible for motor vehicles, and entire neighborhoods had been damaged.

With flood waters now gone, residents said they are thankful others have stepped in to help.

“At my age, it’s the first time... I’ve ever went through something like this,” Belen said.

The Edgewater community is hosting a donation drop-off event Saturday, Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Southeast Volusia YMCA located 148 W. Turgot Ave.

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About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.